Hyderabad, Sep 13 : Several techies in Hyderabad have come out in support of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu who was arrested in alleged Skill Development Corporation scam.
IT professionals working in various companies in Hyderabad participated in a protest organised by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) at Wipro Circle in
Gachibowli, a key IT cluster.
Holding placards with the slogan ‘I am with CBN’ the protestors raised slogans showing solidarity with Naidu.
The protestors demanded immediate release of Chandrababu Naidu. They called for saving democracy in Andhra Pradesh.
While some IT employees have individually shown their support for Naidu since his arrest on Saturday, this was the first time that a large number
of people gathered to show their solidarity. Several techies from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh working in various firms in Hyderabad joined
Naidu was chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh from 1995 to 2004. He is credited with placing Hyderabad on the world IT map by bringing
Microsoft and other global giants to set up their operations in the city.
The first IT park Cyber Tower was built by the Naidu-led government in 1996-97. Its subsequent phases and the development of HITEC City created
job opportunities for local youth.
Several IT professionals believe that the policies adopted by tech savvy Naidu and better infrastructure created during his rule developed Hyderabad as a global IT hub and generated employment opportunities for thousands of people.
The organisers of Wednesday’s protest alleged that Naidu has been a victim of politician conspiracy woven by the state and it is “our duty to express solidarity in this hour of crisis to save democracy”.
After bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, Naidu became the chief minister of the residuary state. He lost power to Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR
Congress in 2019.
The 73-year-old leader was arrested by Andhra Pradesh CID in Nandyal on September 9. The next day, ACB Court in Vijayawada sent him to judicial custody for 14 days. The former chief minister was subsequently shifted to Rajahmundry Central Jail.
The case relates to the establishment of clusters of Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in Andhra Pradesh, with a total estimated project value of Rs 3300
crore when Naidu was the chief minister.
The CID claimed that the alleged fraud has caused a huge loss of Rs 371 crore to the state government. The agency claimed that an advance of Rs 371 crore, representing the entire 10 per cent commitment by the government for the project, was released before any expenditure by the private
According to the CID, most of the money released by the government as advance was diverted to shell companies through fake invoices, with no
actual delivery or sale of the items mentioned in the invoices.
The CID mentioned in its remand report that the total amount spent by private entities on six skill development clusters is sourced exclusively
from funds advanced by the state government and the Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Centre, totalling Rs 371 crore.