As Naidu Walks Out on Bail, Here’s a Low Down on 5 Scams

 - Sakshi Post

After spending 53 days in Rajahmundry central prison in connection with the skill development case when Chandrababu Naidu walked out of prison on conditional bail on Tuesday, the TDP party burst into celebrations as if he was exonerated by the honourable high court. 

The high court granted interim relief to the TDP chief to enable him to get treatment for an eye problem with certain conditions. The bail period is only four weeks. After the expiry of bail term, Naidu is legally required to go back to the prison. However, the TDP leaders have forgotten the reason for the bail and started claiming it as a ‘victory of truth’. 

Large-scale irregularities were reportedly committed during the TDP-led regime in the name of building Amaravati as a world-class smart city. There are several allegations of misappropriation of funds against the previous TDP government, including the Amaravati land scam. Let’s take a look at these notable cases.

Amaravati Land Scam

In the Amaravati Inner Ring Road alignment scam case, the TDP leaders allegedly changed the Inner Ring Road alignment to benefit the then minister P Narayana and other aides of the TDP chief, because they had purchased lands in the Amaravati region to save it from getting acquired by the government. 

Naidu, some former ministers and their benamis are accused of purchasing the lands from the SCs, STs and BCs in the capital city area for cheaper rates by making a false impression that the assigned lands would be acquired by the government under the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) without giving any compensation. The AP CID has estimated the value of assigned lands to be approximately Rs 5,600 crore. 

In June 2019, the YS Jagan government constituted a Cabinet Sub-Committee to audit the major policies and key administrative decisions taken by the TDP government after the bifurcation of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh. 

AP Skill Development Scam

With the aim to provide skills to unemployed youth, the then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu proposed to set up a AP Skill Development Corporation and the corporation would open skill development clusters across the state. The state, which arrested Naidu from Nandyal in connection with the Skill Development Corporation scam, said Naidu was the principal conspirator and ‘accused no 1’ in the Rs 371 crore scam related to the establishment of clusters of centres of excellence in the state. 

According to the remand report, Naidu met the representatives of Design Tech and Siemens companies through a TDP leader Illandula Ramesh and the skill development project was approved only on the basis of a powerpoint presentation by the firms. The former government released Rs 371 crore of funds to the Design Tech firm. The government reportedly lied to the State cabinet saying Siemens would bear 90 percent of the proposed total project cost of Rs 3,356 crore. Despite not receiving grant-in-aid from Siemens, the TDP government went ahead and paid 10 percent of the project cost of rs 371 crore in five installments in just three months. 

AP Fibernet Scam

Chandrababu Naidu is also accused of playing a key role in the AP Fibernet scam. The fibernet case pertains to alleged manipulation of tender process to allot the work order for the Phase-1 of AP Fibernet project of estimated cost of Rs 330 crore. There are allegations that the then government flouted the rules and the tender was given to Terasoftware despite protests from other bidders. The flouting of rules in the awarding of Phase-I contract caused a loss of about Rs 114 crore to the government exchequer. 

Irrigation Scam

There have been alleged irregularities in the construction of the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project and Pattiseema project. The TDP government is also accused of benefiting the contractors in lieu of kickbacks by revising the project estimates. Questions were also raised on the credibility of the company which was given the contract. It is alleged that due to the inefficiency of the TDP government, the diaphragm wall in the Polavaram project was extensively damaged during Godavari floods in 2019 and 2020 and it caused a loss of about Rs 400 crore to the state exchequer.  

TIDCO scam 

Former chief minister is also facing allegations of receiving kickbacks worth Rs 118 crore from infrastructure firms. The Income tax department has reportedly issued a show-cause notice to Naidu seeking an explanation as to why the money should not be treated as an undisclosed income. It is also alleged that the AP Township and Infrastructure Development Corporation (APTIDCO) might have escalated the costs of constructing houses for the poor. 

Also Read: Contempt of Court: CBN Defies HC Orders, Speaks To Media

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