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Andhra Pradesh News

Anti-Corruption Bureau raids Telangana official’s house, finds assets worth Rs 100 crore, Rs 40 lakh cash

Till now up to 16 locations are currently going through raids, which are being carried out by 18 ACB squads.

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A government official with alleged assets worth over Rs 100 crore has been apprehended by Telangana’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). On Wednesday, January 24, the ACB’s detectives raided the offices of S Balakrishna, Secretary of the Telangana State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (TSRERA), and Metro Rail’s Planning Officer simultaneously.

Earlier, he was employed by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) as the director of town planning. The anti-graft body’s 14 teams searched all day, and they’re probably going to do so again on Thursday, January 25.

Raids carried out concurrently at Balakrishna’s residence, offices, and relatives’ premises resulted in the recovery of assets valued at more than Rs 100 crore.

Till now up to 16 locations are currently going through raids, which are being carried out by 18 ACB squads.

A total of Rs 100 crore worth of assets and valuables were retrieved, including gold, cell phones, bank deposits, and apartments.

However, the official has not yet unlocked his bank lockers. At least four banks have lockers that the ACB has identified.

The ACB teams claim that Shiva Balakrishna’s family is not helping with the search operation. The investigation teams are currently searching Shiva Balakrishna’s bank vaults and other belongings.

At the official’s home, the ACB officials allegedly discovered cash counting machinery. It was said that he had accumulated fortune during his time with the HMDA. The investigators also found other benami properties.

On Wednesday, at 5 a.m., the raid begabegan. The offices, residence, and other significant sites were searched by the anti-corruption bureau.

Meanwhile, the Income Tax department seized nearly Rs 300 crore in cash from the premises of a distillery company in Balangir, Odisha, that belonged to the brother of Congress leader Dhiraj Sahu in December of last year.

The income tax (IT) department raided and searched multiple locations in Bengaluru in October, recovering approximately Rs 42 crore from a flat owned by R Ambikapathy, who was the vice-president of the Karnataka State Contractors’ Association and the president of the BBMP Contractors’ Association at the time.

Andhra Pradesh News

Skill development case: Andhra Pradesh High Court grants TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu 4-week bail over health concerns

The former chief minister needs cataract surgery, according to Naidu’s lawyer.

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TRS chief Chandrababu Naidu bail

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday granted former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu temporary release for a period of four weeks due to health concerns in relation to the skill development case.

The former chief minister needs cataract surgery, according to Naidu’s lawyer. Additionally, the judge set November 10 as his usual bail date, as per reports.

In relation to the purported Rs 3,300 crore Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) scandal, which is said to have occurred during Naidu’s tenure as Andhra chief minister, he was detained on September 9.

The police showed up at Naidu’s house that day at around three in the morning. Due to the massive protests from his party members, they were unable to arrest him. After about three hours, he was taken into custody.

The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Andhra Pradesh Police has opened an investigation into the case in March of this year. Based on the declarations of an accused turned approver and the depositions of three IAS officers, the investigation was launched in response to letters served to former Indian Railway Traffic Service officer Arja Srikanth, who held the position of chief executive officer (CEO) of the APSSDC in 2016.

Established in 2016, the APSSDC aims to empower jobless youngsters and improve their employability by offering skill training.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the project valued at Rs 3,300 crore was inked by the Chandrababu Naidu government at the time, according to the CID investigation. In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, Siemens Industry Software India Ltd. and Design Tech Systems Pvt Ltd.

Six centres of excellence for talent development were to be established by Siemens Industry Software India Ltd. About ten percent of the project’s overall expenditure was expected to come from the Andhra government. The remaining cash would be given as grants-in-aid by the two firms.

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Andhra Pradesh News

Skill development scam: TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu’s judicial remand extended till October 19

Additionally, the court set Friday for the hearings on Naidu’s bail request and the Andhra Pradesh Police CID’s demand for his custody.

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TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu

The TDP chief and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s judicial remand in the Skill Development Corporation scam case was extended by a local court here on Thursday by a week until October 19. After the second extension of Naidu’s arrest ended on Thursday, the Anti-Corruption Bureau Court extended his remand for a third time today.

Additionally, the court set Friday for the hearings on Naidu’s bail request and the Andhra Pradesh Police CID’s demand for his custody.

According to reports, the Vijayawada ACB Court gave its decision on Thursday amidst ongoing heated arguments between the CID’s lawyers, Additional Advocate General P Sudhakar Reddy and Special Public Prosecutor Y N Vivekananda, and Supreme Court attorney Pramod Dubey, who was representing the former chief minister.

Since Naidu reportedly refused to comply with the investigators during the initial two-day police custody questioning on September 23 and 24, the CID is requesting an additional five days of police custody to interview him further.

The TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh’s anticipatory bail petition was set for hearing on Wednesday by the high court, but the CID asked for an extension till October 12 to file its response.

TDP members have been demonstrating their outrage by calling for Chandrababu Naidu’s release at rallies and candle marches all throughout the nation.

Earlier, Chandrababu’s wife Bhuvaneshwari prayed specifically for the TDP leader’s release at St. Paul’s Lutheran church in Jampet, Rajahmundry.

Additionally, individuals gathered inside the chapel holding banners denouncing Naidu’s detention.

On September 9, Naidu was detained for allegedly stealing money from the Skill Development Corporation, which cost the state exchequer about Rs 300 crore.

Meanwhile, Pawan Kalyan has previously declared Janasena’s exit from the NDA in favour of Chandrababu Naidu.

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Andhra Pradesh News

Pawan Kalyan meets Chandrababu Naidu in jail, announces Jana Sena-TDP alliance for Andhra Pradesh polls

Pawan Kalyan said he has been thinking all this while whether TDP and Janasena must come together ahead of elections.

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Pawan Kalyan

Pawan Kalyan, the actor-turned-politician, said on Thursday that his Janasena Party will join forces with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly election next year.

Pawan Kalyan was speaking to supporters outside Rajamahendravaram Central Prison, where he had visited with TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu. Naidu is currently incarcerated for his suspected role in a multi-crore skill development company scam.

Pawan Kalyan said, he has been thinking all this while whether TDP and Janasena must come together ahead of elections. He said he is in NDA. It is my prayer that to fight against the atrocities of the YSRCP, NDA, Janasena, and TDP must come together in the upcoming elections, Pawan Kalyan said.

The politician added, that Andhra Pradesh cannot afford the rule of the YSRCP.

Pawan Kalyan said that he has taken the decision today. While announcing the TDP and JSP alliance he said that they came together to end CM Jagan’s alleged misrule. The Jana Sena Party and the TDP will contend together in the elections. This is not about our futures as individuals, but about the future of Andhra Pradesh, said the politician.

Pawan Kalyan, who condemned Naidu’s detention, said,  he would not simply depart by criticising the arrest and expressing his position.

The Janasena chief visited Chandrababu Naidu in jail, as did the TDP chief’s son Nara Lokesh, and his brother-in-law Nandamuri Balakrishna.

Meanwhile, the TDP and JSP have been showing hints of lighting their previous partnership in recent months. In fact, Pawan Kalyan surprised Naidu in 2018 when he openly criticised the then-TDP governance at a public conference. The TDP, JSP, and BJP terminated their alliance and ran separately in the 2019 state and general elections. It ended disastrously, with Naidu’s party winning only 23 of the 175 Assembly seats and the JSP winning only one. With 151 MPs, the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) swept to power.

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