Monday, April 15, 2024

Naidu’s role in skill development scam very clear: Botsa

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PNS | Vijayawada

Education Minister, Botsa Satyanarayana, has firmly asserted that TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu’s involvement in the Skill Development scandal is clear, emphasising that it’s unjust to place the blame on the government for his arrest and subsequent judicial remand in Rajahmundry Central prison. The public is closely scrutinising the actions taken against corruption allegations stemming from the previous administration.

The minister pointed out that Chandrababu has been arrested and placed in judicial remand, with a subsequent two-day CID custody. Furthermore, the High Court has dismissed Chandrababu’s petition to quash the charges.

Yesterday, on Friday, Chandrababu made a virtual appearance before the ACB judge, vehemently denying any involvement in the alleged scam. He also accused the TDP of supporting yellow media outlets, which he claims have been spreading false propaganda against the YSRCP government.

Minister Botsa clarified that the government is not levying any accusations against Siemens, the company involved in the project, but rather questioning the circumstances surrounding the agreement. He inquired why the company failed to invest its promised Rs 3,000 crore and why the government disbursed Rs 371 crore when Siemens didn’t uphold its end of the agreement. Botsa challenged Chandrababu to provide a response to these queries.

He stressed that the YSRCP government is committed to working with integrity and has zero tolerance for corruption. Whenever irregularities come to light, prompt action is taken without any negligence. In a democratic system, those in power must act responsibly, safeguarding public funds and adhering to ethical principles.

Minister Botsa strongly condemned Telangana Speaker Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy’s remarks suggesting that Chandrababu’s arrest lacked proper justification. He questioned whether a leader in a responsible position should make such statements and suggested that if Pocharam believes Chandrababu is innocent, he should discuss it with the Telangana Chief Minister.

In response to media inquiries, Botsa revealed that Siemens had distanced itself from the agreement, asserting that the substantial expenditure for Skill Development training, amounting to Rs 500 per cluster, was unnecessary. Siemens had received Rs 55 crore for software, and there was no reason for the additional expenses.

Botsa also noted that if government officials are implicated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), they will be held accountable. On the day of fund disbursement, officials explicitly stated that they were acting on the orders of then-CM Chandrababu, leaving no room for ambiguity.

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