Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested former minister and Telugu Desam Party leader Acham Naidu and five others in connection with Rs 151 crore ESI (Employees’ State Insurance) scam. The accused was the Labour Minister in the TDP government during the alleged ESI medical equipment scandal in Andhra Pradesh.
ACB Joint Director said, “The Vigilance and Enforcement Department conducted a probe into the ESI purchases between 2014 and 2019 and established large scale irregularities. Our investigation also revealed a scam of Rs 150 crore in purchase of medicines, medical kits, furniture and other items. Accordingly, we made these arrests.”
Fuming over his party leader’s arrest, former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu termed this arrest a “kidnap” and an “attack on backward class”. He further said that in a similar scam which had happened in Telangana, an official was arrested. But, in Andhra Pradesh “an ex-minister is arrested. The officials take decisions in such things. How could an ex minister be arrested? Acham Naidu often questioned the government’s policies so he was arrested”, said Naidu.
Accusing the Andhra government of vendetta politics, he further said, “Acham Naidu has become a scapegoat. Jaganmohan Reddy (Chief Minister) himself is involved in corruption and went to jail. He is an A1 in 11 CBI chargesheets. A criminal has become CM and is doing vendetta politics. He has damaged the financial structure of Andhra Pradesh.”
TDP MP and Acham Naidu’s nephew Ram Mohan Naidu also said that the police behaved like YSR Congress activists and because his uncle questioned the Chief Minister’s corrupt acts, he was arrested.
However, YSR Congress leaders denied of vendetta politics and accusations of caste-based discrimination. YSR Congress Parliamentary Party Chief Vijay Sai Reddy tweeted, “When Chandrababu Naidu was caught in ‘note for vote’ scam in Hyderabad, he wanted to use Andhra ACB. He is afraid of his corruption. How come it is an attack on OBCs or kidnapping when ACB has arrested a political leader in connection with a corruption case? Chandrababu Naidu wants to create law and order problems in the state.”