Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan on Thursday announced an alliance between his Jana Sena and the Telugu Desam Party of ex-Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who was this week sent to Rajahmundry Jail for two weeks following his arrest in an alleged Rs 371 crore scam case.
Flanked by Mr Naidu’s son, Nara Lokesh, and brother-in-law, Hindupur MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna, Mr Kalyan hit out at the Andhra Pradesh government over the “not correct” arrest.
“Today I have taken a decision Jana Sena and Telugu Desam will go together in the coming election. This is not about our (his party’s) political future… but the future of Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
Mr Kalyan and Mr Balakrishna met Mr Naidu in jail this morning, after the Andhra Pradesh High Court said Wednesday that the TDP chief must be behind bars till Monday at least.
The state is scheduled to hold an Assembly election next year and Mr Kalyan declared it “cannot afford YSRCP”, referring to the YSR Congress Party of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Mr Kalyan then ripped into the “person who got this (Mr Naidu’s arrest) done” and accused that individual – understood to be Mr Reddy – as “facing big criminal charges”. “From PPA to state directive principles… all violations. Person who is facing Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation cases… who needs permission even to go out of country,” the actor-politician said.
“He did not fulfil his promises and is looting… from liquor he is making cash,” his allegations continued as he slammed “unconstitutional activities of this man”. “Purely political vendetta… condemn this arrest. I had to stand by Lokesh and Balakrishna because of YSRCP and Jagan.”
On Sunday Chandrababu Naidu was sent to judicial custody for two weeks. On Tuesday an anti-corruption court rejected a house custody plea by his wife after she cited security concerns.
On Wednesday the Andhra Pradesh Police’s Crime Investigation Department underlined its belief Mr Naidu is the primary accused in this case; he had initially been listed as Accused Number 37.
The case pertains to setting up of clusters of centres of excellence (CoE) in the state with the total estimate of the project valued at Rs 3,300 crore, but this allegedly ended up causing a loss of over Rs 300 crore to the state. The CID believes that before any expenditure by private entities, the then government provided an advance of Rs 371 crores – the government’s full 10 per cent commitment.
Investigations have led to the conclusion, prime facie, that Mr Naidu, then the head of the government and its highest executive, orchestrated the entire scheme, the CID said.