'Government Funds Transferred, Project Never Happened': CID On Skill Development Scam Involving Chandrababu Naidu
Amid the protests surrounding the arrest of Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, the additional DG of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Sanjay, on Wednesday (13 September) said that the money trail in the multi-crore skill development scam is "very clear."
The Andhra CID has determined that this is a straightforward case of government funds being transferred without any corresponding project taking place.
According to the additional DG of CID, "A government corporation was specifically established for the purpose of skill development, with the proposal being put forward by private individuals... The money trail is clearly visible."
The investigation will delve into how the money was funneled into shell companies and other related aspects to uncover the complete chain of events.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief was sent to judicial custody on 9 September for 14 days by the Anti-Corruption Bureau court in Vijayawada.
The Andhra Pradesh high court deferred a plea by Naidu seeking to quash the case filed against him. However, the court ordered that the CID cannot take Naidu's custody until 18 September.
The multi-crore skill development scam case is about the establishment of clusters of 'Centres of Excellence' in Andhra Pradesh. The estimated project value is Rs 3,300 crore and it occurred during the previous TDP regime in the state.
The CID's preliminary investigation revealed serious irregularities in the case.
These include the state government providing an advance of Rs 271 crore to private entities before any expenditure, initiating the project without following the standard tendering process, and funds intended for the project being funneled into shell companies such as Allied Computers, Skillers India Pvt Ltd, Knowledge Podium, Cadence Partners, and ETA Greens.
The investigation was initiated after notices were issued to Arja Srikanth, a former Indian Railway Traffic Service officer who served as the CEO of Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation in 2016.
In the meantime, protests were organised by TDP workers in various districts of the state, including Tirupati and West Godavari, in response to the arrest of Chandrababu Naidu.
Additionally, a group of techies led by the TDP's digital wing staged a protest in Hyderabad, holding placards that read ‘I am with CBN’.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.