Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu Appears Before Court After Extended Interrogation.
TDP Leader’s Arrest Sparks Protests and Global Support.
In a significant turn of events, former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was presented before the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Court in Vijayawada on Sunday morning, following a 10-hour-long interrogation and subsequent medical tests. This came after he was initially taken to a hospital in Vijayawada for examination, stated a police official.
Justice Hima Bindu is currently overseeing the proceedings, with legal representatives from both the Government and the TDP chief presenting their arguments. Meanwhile, the NTR Commissionerate Police have intensified security measures at the ACB Special Court, a move reviewed by Police Commissioner Kanthi Rana Tata.
Naidu’s appearance in court stems from his arrest in the Skill Development Corporation ‘scam’ case, exactly 24 hours prior. He was escorted from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) office, where he had been held overnight, under tight security measures enforced by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legal team.
The Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) has filed a remand report naming Naidu as the prime accused, listing him as the 37th accused in a FIR registered in 2021. Arguments pertaining to the remand report are still ongoing.
Noted Supreme Court advocate Sidharth Luthra is leading Naidu’s legal representation, while Additional Advocate General P. Sudhakar Reddy is presenting the case on behalf of the CID, which is seeking Naidu’s remand for 15 days. The judge has granted the TDP’s request for an open hearing.
Present in court were Naidu’s son, Nara Lokesh, and other TDP leaders. Naidu, who was detained in Nandyal town early Saturday, was brought to Vijayawada the same evening. CID officials have since continued their questioning at the SIT office, prompting allegations from TDP leaders that the process was deliberately delayed and sleep was denied.
The arrest of Chandrababu Naidu has sparked widespread support both domestically and abroad. Sridhar Vembu, CEO of the global technology company Zoho, expressed shock over the arrest, citing Naidu’s efforts in attracting companies to Andhra Pradesh, including Zoho.
Meanwhile, TDP supporters staging a one-day fast in protest of Naidu’s arrest faced opposition from police in various districts, including Kanigiri in Prakasam, Srikalahasti in Tirupati, and Kovvuru in East Godavari.
Accusations of political bias and revenge have been hurled by TDP leaders, with State president K. Atchannaidu asserting that the CID’s actions indicate a partisan agenda in favor of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. This sentiment was echoed by the party’s Vizianagaram district president, Kimidi Nagarjuna, who alleged that the police department was suppressing opposition voices. Mr. Nagarjuna was apprehended during a planned hunger strike protesting Naidu’s arrest.
In this turbulent political landscape, the fate of Chandrababu Naidu hangs in the balance, as the legal battle unfolds amidst fervent support and protest. The case continues to draw attention not only from within the state but also on the global stage, underscoring its significance in the larger political discourse.
In the wake of the arrest of former TDP Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition, N. Chandrababu Naidu, the State of Andhra Pradesh is on high alert as of Saturday, September 9, 2024.
Police forces have been swiftly deployed to bus and railway stations, as well as the residences of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders. The Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) took the precautionary step of suspending services across the entire State. Additional forces have been stationed at public spaces to ensure security.
Reports indicate that Jana Sena Party (JSP) president Pawan Kalyan and party PAC Chairman Nadendla Manohar were taken into preventive custody on Saturday night. This occurred when they staged a protest by lying on the National Highway (NH) situated at the border between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, after being denied entry into Andhra Pradesh by the police.
Following the incident, JSP president Pawan Kalyan initiated a midnight protest on Saturday near Jaggaiahpeta, along the State borders, in response to the police’s refusal to grant him access to Andhra Pradesh.