Lokesh, Atchannaidu under scanner for involvement in scam: Roja

TIRUPATI: The ongoing legal pursuit into the skill development corporation scam took a new direction with tourism minister R.K. Roja hinting at possible arrests of more Telugu Desam (TD) leaders in connection with the case.

Roja stated that the investigation is now focussing on Nara Lokesh and party state president Atchannaidu.

Addressing a media conference on Monday, the minister said that allegations of the involvement of Lokesh and Atchannaidu in the alleged misappropriation of funds appear to be paving the way for their imminent arrests. She disclosed that after two and a half years of rigorous investigation, the agencies could uncover evidence suggesting that Naidu, Lokesh and Atchannaidu had allegedly misappropriated a staggering sum of Rs 241 crore.

"Lokesh and Atchannaidu, the protagonists in this case, should also be arrested and investigated," she emphasized.

Roja stated that the scam was not an isolated incident of corruption and irregularities involving Naidu. According to her, there are several other alleged scams linked to the TD chief, including the Fiber Grid project, Patti Seema, Polavaram, Amaravati lands and Amaravati inner ring road.

"As soon as evidence is found, they will keep arresting him. This is not the end but just the beginning," she added.

Roja criticized the response from TD leaders and social media, noting that their rhetoric remained unchanged even after Naidu's arrest. She drew parallels with the media's treatment of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy when he faced legal troubles, saying, "For 12 years, they called him Jail Reddy, now we should call Naidu Jail Chaudhary."

In a challenge to Naidu and his supporters, Roja stated, "If you who made a mistake have that much courage, how much courage should we have while following a leader who did not make any mistake?"

Going further, she said "Ask Naidu to give a letter saying that he had no role in the skill development corporation scam. We will get it approved in the cabinet, and send it to the Centre so that the CBI and ED can start their investigation".

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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