Lokesh, MPs call on President Murmu to seek her intervention for Naidu's release

Update: 2023-09-27 04:14 GMT
A delegation of Telugu Desam MPs led by party general secretary Nara Lokesh called on President Droupadi Murmu (Photo: Twitter)

Vijayawada: A delegation of Telugu Desam MPs led by party general secretary Nara Lokesh called on President Droupadi Murmu in New Delhi on Tuesday and urged her to facilitate the release of TD chief Chandrababu Naidu from jail.

In a representation submitted to the President, Lokesh said Naidu was arrested in the early hours of Sept. 9 by the AP-CID in the skill development scam though there was no evidence against Naidu.

Alleging that Naidu was arrested out of political vendetta, Lokesh said there was no evidence to support the allegations of corruption of  Rs. 371 crore. “No money trail was established connecting Naidu or his family members or the alleged companies.”

He said there were procedural irregularities by adding the name of Naidu at a later stage, leading to his arrest, for which there was no approval from the Governor even as Naidu was a public servant. “There was no misuse or diversion of funds,” he stressed.

Lokesh said the names of officers like then MD of APPSDC Premchandra Reddy and then finance secretary and current chief adviser to CM Ajay Reddy, who were authorised signatories for the release of funds, were missing from FIR.

He raised suspicion on the Audit’s objectivity as the same forensic auditor was instructed not to physically verify the assets at the skill development centres. The allegations of tax evasion by companies connected to Design Tech should not implicate the AP government, as tax matters were the responsibility of the companies and not the government, Lokesh stressed.

The TD leader alleged that there was consistent erosion of democratic principles under the “authoritarian” leadership of CM Jagan Reddy and his YSRC government. “If this is the fate of an individual who served the nation with distinction as a member of state legislature for 40 years and as CM for 14 years, it could be anybody’s imagination what is the plight of the common people in the state,” he said.

Four MPs including Ravindra Kumar, Galla Jayadev, Kesineni Srinivas and Rammohan Naidu submitted a representation to the President, raising issues like lack of evidence in the money trail, irregularities in inclusion of Naidu’s name in FIR, the questionable forensic audit, the tax evasion by companies and others and sought her intervention to ensure justice to Naidu and his release from judicial custody.


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