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Chandrababu Naidu arrested: What exactly is the multi-crore skill development scam? Explained

By Sep 9, 2023
Chandrababu Naidu arrested: What exactly is the multi-crore skill development scam? ExplainedChandrababu Naidu arrested: What exactly is the multi-crore skill development scam? Explained

Chandrababu Naidu arrested: Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu recently warned a crowd that he might be detained at any time.

In the early hours of Saturday, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu was detained in a multi-crore AP State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) scam. Following Chandrababu Naidu’s arrest, several TDP officials have been placed under house arrest.

While Naidu was resting in his caravan, a large number of police commanded by Nandyal range DIG Raghuram Reddy and the Crime Investigation Department (CID) came to RK Function Hall. TDP supporters gathered in large numbers and defied the police, with SPG personnel initially denying entry to Naidu.

The TDP chairman was eventually apprehended by police about 6 a.m., and he is now being transferred to Vijayawada. Naidu was arrested and charged with non-bailable offenses under provisions 120(8), 166, 167, 418, 420, 465, 468, 471, 409, 201, 109 r/w 34 & 37 IPC, and various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. – Chandrababu Naidu arrested

The arrest comes only days after the TDP supremo foretold his demise during a public interaction in Rayadurgam, Anantapur district, today, claiming that he would be attacked.

“They could arrest me today or tomorrow.” They might even assault me. “They will commit many atrocities,” Naidu declared on Wednesday, referring to the YSRCP government.

What exactly is the AP State Skill Development Corporation scam?

In March, the Andhra Pradesh Police Crime Investigation Department launched an investigation into an alleged 3,300 crore scam in the APSSDC during the previous Telugu Desam Party rule. The investigation is being conducted in response to notices given to Arja Srikanth, a former Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer who was the CEO of APSSDC in 2016, based on testimonies from an accused turned approver and depositions from three IAS officers.

The APSSDC was created in 2016, during the TDP government’s mandate, with the goal of empowering unemployed youth by offering skill training to improve their employability.

The CID’s preliminary inquiry revealed:

  • This MoU involved a consortium with Siemens Industry Software India Ltd. and Design Tech Systems Pvt Ltd.
  • The state government was supposed to contribute around 10% of the total project cost, while Siemens and Design Tech would provide the remaining funds as grant-in-aid.
  • Siemens Industry Software India was tasked with establishing six centers of excellence for skill development.
  • The TDP government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a project valued at ₹3,300 crore.

The investigation uncovered several irregularities

Misappropriation of funds:

Siemens Industry Software India allegedly failed to invest any of its own resources in the project, instead diverting a significant chunk of the state’s ₹371 million allocation to several shell businesses.

Lack of tender process:

The project was started without going through the regular tendering process.

Shell companies:

The project funding was diverted to shell businesses such as Allied Computers, Skillers India Pvt Ltd, Knowledge Podium, Cadence Partners, and ETA Greens.

Bypassing Cabinet approval:

This proposal was not approved by the state cabinet.

Siemens Global Corporate Office launched an internal investigation into the project and discovered that the project manager had misappropriated government-allocated monies through hawala transactions to shell entities. As a result, the project manager was fired.

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