A senior officer from the Andhra Pradesh CID has labeled Chandrababu Naidu as the “main suspect” in an alleged fraud case. N Chandrababu Naidu, the leader of the Telugu Desam Party and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, is accused of orchestrating a ₹ 371-crore scam within the state’s skill development corporation, according to sources within the YSR Jagan Mohan Reddy government.
Mr. Naidu was taken into custody early this morning in Nandyal, nearly 300 km from Hyderabad, amidst high tension. Clashes occurred between TDP supporters and police officers who arrived in Nandyal to arrest Mr. Naidu. He was eventually detained and transported to Vijayawada.
N Sanjaya, Additional DGP of Andhra CID, addressed the media and referred to Mr. Naidu as the “main suspect” in relation to the alleged fraud. He stated that “This case is centered around the establishment of centers of excellence in Andhra Pradesh.”
The Andhra Pradesh government released ₹ 371 crore, most of which was allegedly misappropriated, with only a small portion used to establish the centers of excellence. The majority of this money was allegedly diverted through shell companies using counterfeit invoices.
The investigation revealed that Mr. Naidu was the “primary conspirator” in this case and that the transfer of government funds to private entities through shell companies occurred under his “active leadership”, according to the officer.
Mr. Naidu is said to have exclusive knowledge of the transactions leading to the issuance of government orders and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), making him a key figure in this investigation.
Sources within the state government claim that Mr. Naidu “meticulously planned, directed, and executed the scam”. The alleged scam revolves around the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation, which was established under Chief Minister Naidu at the time to provide job training for young people.
The then TDP government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German engineering giant Siemens. The project was supposed to be carried out by the state skill development body in partnership with a consortium comprising Siemens, Industry Software India Ltd, and Design Tech Systems Pvt Ltd. Siemens was tasked with establishing six centers of excellence.
According to these sources, this MoU stipulated that the Andhra Pradesh government would contribute 10 percent of the project cost of ₹ 3,356 crore.
It is alleged that a staggering ₹ 371 crore was disbursed in five installments within three months even though Siemens had not invested any funds into the project.
“Show me where my name is. How can they arrest me without basic evidence?” Mr. Naidu said during a confrontation between his supporters and police officers.
Later, a post on his official X handle read, “For the past 45 years, I have selflessly served Telugu people. I am prepared to sacrifice my life to safeguard the interests of Telugu people. No force on earth can stop me from serving Telugu people, my #AndhraPradesh and my motherland.”
Before he was taken away, Mr. Naidu urged his supporters to remain calm, adding that “In the end, righteousness prevails.”
Government sources claim that no files related to the project were signed by then-principal finance secretary and then-chief secretary, raising “questions about transparency”.
They added that reports suggest attempts were made to destroy critical documentary evidence linked to the scandal.
These sources allege that a sum of ₹ 241 crore was allegedly diverted to various shell companies, including Allied Computers, Skillers India Pvt Ltd, Knowledge Podium, Cadence Partners, and ETA Greens, without any tangible returns for skill development.