by IANS | Sat, Sep 09, 2023, 12:40 PM
Amaravati, Sep 9 (IANS) The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government in Andhra Pradesh has defended the arrest of former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, saying he is the kingpin of the skill development scheme scam.
YSRCP General Secretary and Advisor to Government (Public Affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said on Saturday that the arrest of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president was not an overnight affair but was the result of a thorough investigation into the scam. He also brushed aside the allegations of political vendetta.
Sajjala told media persons that Naidu was kingpin of the skill development scheme scam and there were kickbacks through shell companies. He stated that there is no need for political victimisation on a spent force like Chandrababu Naidu. He claimed that the law is taking due course as the scam is an economic offence of the highest order.
“CID registered FIR on the skill development scam on December 9, 2021, thoroughly probed the case and based on evidence, Chandrababu was arrested for questioning following due procedure,” he said adding that the government would never resort to politics of victimisation.
“The TDP president is not above the law and CID officials had followed due procedures. Politics and crime investigation are different and the arrest was made based on merits of the case. The rest would be decided by courts of law,” the YSRCP leader added.
He pointed out that four persons- Siemens ex-MD Somyadri Sekhar alias Suman Bose, Design Tech Systems MD VV Kanvelkar, Financial Adviser Mukul Chandra Agarwal and Chartered Accountant Suresh Goyal of Skiller Enterprises were already arrested in the case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which probed the matter and were remanded to judicial custody.
Even before the case was registered by CID, officials of the Central agencies gave information of the diversion of public funds which emanated from the skill development scam, he said.
“After the Government reportedly signed a MoU with German firm Siemens for imparting training in skill development to the youth and issued a GO (government order), Skill Development Corporation independently signed another MoU with the Design Tech in contravention of the issued GO,” he said.
While the Government was supposed to invest Rs 371 crore, 10 per cent of the Rs 3,356 crore mentioned in the GO with the rest being invested by the Siemens for training the youth in skill development under the aegis of Skill Development Corporation, the then government transferred the amount to Design Tech which never invested its share. GST was also not paid on the transferred amount, Sajjala alleged.
This amount was diverted to Chandrababu, other TDP leaders and their conduits through shell companies later, he said.
“Investigation revealed that the persons who signed the MoU with the Government were suspended officials of the Siemens which said it had nothing to do with the MoU and the GO. Officials also mentioned in the note files that the amount was transferred to the Design Tech on the instruction of the then Chief Minister and it is his turn to prove his innocence,” he said.
He also alleged that the Skill Development Corporation was established with the malicious intention of looting public money in the guise of imparting training to the youth in skill development.