Former and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader N Chandrababu Naidu, along with TDP MLAs Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Ganta Raviteja, were detained by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Saturday in connection with a corruption case involving a skill development scam.
The charges against them centre on their alleged participation in a scheme that misused funds totalling Rs 371 crore while masquerading as an Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) initiative targeted at training unemployed youngsters in the state.
Following his arrest, Chandrababu Naidu vehemently asserted his innocence, claiming that he had done nothing wrong.
He expressed surprise at his arrest, alleging that officials had held him without providing any substantial proof or a reason for his detention.
In a post on X, expressed his devotion to the people of Andhra Pradesh, emphasising that he has committed 45 years of his life to serving them selflessly.
He also stated that he was willing to give his life to preserve the interests of the Telugu people and that no force could discourage him from his purpose.
The origins of this legal action can be traced back to a 2021 FIR, which has now resulted in Chandrababu Naidu being identified as culprit number one in the skill development scam case.
Despite his major political involvement in Andhra Pradesh, his name was glaringly removed from the initial FIR report, causing his legal team to demand prima facie evidence substantiating the claims against him.
In response to these demands, police officers informed Chandrababu Naidu's lawyers that the remand report will include all relevant facts within 24 hours.
Chandrababu Naidu was scheduled to receive a medical examination at Nandyal Hospital as part of the legal process. However, instead of going to the hospital, he chose to have a medical check-up at a camp.
The arrest order for was executed in the early hours of Saturday under Section 50 (1) (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), while the former chief minister was in his vanity van following a public address in Andhra Pradesh's Nandyala city.
Notably, the sections placed on him are not bailable, heightening the gravity of the issue.
Ganta Srinivasa Rao, a fellow TDP member and former minister, described his and Chandrababu Naidu's detention in the skill development scam case as "unfortunate."
He described the incident as a sort of political vendetta, claiming that there had been no injustices under Naidu's administration and that the arrests were made to appease Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Leaders from across the political spectrum have spoken in, with many denouncing Chandrababu Naidu's imprisonment.
In response to his father's detention, Nara Lokesh, Chandrababu Naidu's son and the TDP's National General Secretary, mounted a protest.
Nara Lokesh is shown in a video being stopped by police in Rajahmundry on his way to Mangalagiri, where Chandrababu Naidu was to be taken.
Andhra Pradesh BJP President Daggubati Purandeswari turned to social media to express her displeasure over Chandrababu Naidu's incarceration.
She called the arrest unjustified, pointing out the lack of adequate notification, the failure to identify Naidu in the FIR, and the lack of an explanation or due process measures.
Even K Ramakrishna, State Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), questioned the necessity of arresting Chandrababu Naidu and the circumstances behind the police's actions.
He stated that police measures should have been launched with advance notice, eliminating the necessity for a late-night operation that caused disruption.