Amaravati, June 12:Andhra Pradesh home minister Mekathoti Sucharita today defended the arrest of former minister and TDP MLA K Atcham Naidu this morning by the sleuths Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB). In a statement, the minister said the ACB had followed the due procedure in taking the former minister into custody.
Refuting the TDP charge that arrest was aimed at whipping up passions, the Home Minister said Atcham Naidu was taken into custody as per the procedure after a due inquiry into the ESI scam.
The minister said the TDP leaders’ comments that he was kidnapped and the raising the caste bogie was not in good taste.
“Everyone is equal before the law and the law has taken its course. Fake bills were produced for Rs 100 crore worth medicines which were not purchased. Moreover, medical equipment that had an actual price of Rs 15,000 was inflated to Rs 60,000 in the official records. All contracts have been given to close associates of TDP on a nomination basis without following the set guidelines,” Sucharita added.
Minister for BC Welfare Sankara Narayana asserted that Chandrababu Naidu is once again playing cheap politics by using the BC card and trying to equate the arrested leader with the national leaders.
“It is quite dreadful to see Naidu infuriating BCs and creating uncertainty with his caste politics. Everyone is equal before the law and thus the former TDP Minister was arrested on charges of irregularities in the ESI scam which has a direct effect on thousands of BCs who contributed from their salary and yet could not get the intended benefits. “
“Soon the role of Chandrababu Naidu and his son Lokesh will also come into the open and the ESI scam is just tip of the iceberg,’ he said.
Irrigation Minister Anil Kumar Yadav said it is evident that corruption took place in the purchase of medicines and TDP leader Atcham Naidu was arrested and Chandrababu Naidu playing cheap politics using BC card is quite appalling. Chandrababu sent letters to the Centre opposing the appointment of BCs as judges of the High Court and used BCs for his political mileage. It is shameful that Naidu is asking people to come on to roads to protest against the arrest of Atcham Naidu, he said
Ministers K Kanna Babu, D Krishna Das, MLA RK Roja and others defended the arrest and slammed TDP for its baseless allegations and the line of argument that it was an attack on BCs and reiterated that everyone is equal before law.
MLC Janga Krishna Murthy said that Chandrababu Naidu is in the habit of using BC for his political mileage but has never worked for their welfare while our leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has redefined them stating that they are the Backbone Classes of the society. TDP calling the arrest as an attack on BCs speaks of their political opportunism as neither Chandrababu nor Atcham Naidu has done any favor for the BCs.
“It is clearly evident that Atcham Naidu flouted the tender norms in the purchase of medicines and medical equipment. He was accused in the Rs 404.86 crore ESI scam by the Vigilance and Enforcement Department in February and primary investigations revealed the misuse of Rs 150 crore for which six persons, including the TDP MLA were arrested, he said.