National

TDP senior leader Atchannaidu arrested in ESI scam

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on June 12, 2020 Published on June 12, 2020

K Atchannaidu, senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader

K Atchannaidu, senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and MLA from Tekkali in Andhra Pradesh was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau for his alleged involvement the procurement of medicines and clearing contracts for ESI hospitals when he was a minister in the N Chandrababu Naidu Cabinet.

A close associate of TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Atchannaidu, had served as the Labour Minister and is now the deputy leader in the Assembly.

After assuming office as the State Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had last year ordered a review and investigation into various contracts awarded by the previous TDP regime. The vigilance probe and now the ACB move is a fallout of that directive.

At about 7.30 am today, Atchannaidu was arrested from his house in Tekkali in Srikakulam district by the ACB officials. Five others, including officials, have also been arrested today in the alleged scam.

The TDP leader had allegedly asked directors of Insurance Medical Services to award contracts and purchase orders to a Hyderabad-based firm and there were also irregularities with regard to pricing and invoices.

It is alleged that the directors had allotted the work to a firm without calling for tenders. The firm had allegedly violated norms of the agreement but was still paid extra amounts running into crores of rupees.

According to the ACB, three directors of Insurance Medical Services had issued purchase orders for the procurement of drugs, medical equipment, surgical items, lab kits and furniture worth ₹976 crore by violating established procedures. The scam is estimated to be over ₹150 crore.

TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu said this was a conspiracy by Jagan Mohan Reddy and is nothing but political vendetta.

The arrest comes days before Assembly session, he alleged and said, “We are not able to reach him over phone. But the party stands by him.”

 

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Published on June 12, 2020
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