Telugu Desam Party leader Chandrababu Naidu has been granted regular bail by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in relation to the alleged Rs 371 crore Skill Development Corporation scam case. Naidu, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, was arrested more than two months ago but was released on interim medical bail last month to undergo cataract surgery on his right eye. As a result of the regular bail, Naidu will not have to return to jail as previously ordered on November 28.
In a significant development, Naidu has also been given permission to engage in political activities. However, this decision comes too late for the upcoming election in neighboring Telangana, which is scheduled for November 30. Despite this setback, Naidu is expected to make a statement regarding his arrest, which was vehemently protested by his party members, supporters, and family, as well as against his rivals, the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi.
Last month, the Telugu Desam Party decided not to participate in the Telangana election due to Naidu’s incarceration. A senior party leader explained that the decision was made because it would be difficult for the leadership to campaign in Telangana without Naidu’s presence. The party has some support in Telangana, having won 15 seats in the 2014 Assembly election and two in 2018. However, the elected MLAs later switched their loyalty to the ruling party.
Supporters of Naidu in Telangana are disappointed with the Bharat Rashtra Samithi for not condemning his arrest and for not allowing them to hold a protest in his support in the Hitech City area. Naidu’s arrest last month sparked political turmoil and led to violent clashes. Party leaders criticized Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government for what they called a “witch hunt.”
Naidu’s son, Nara Lokesh, spoke to NDTV and expressed his frustration, stating that he may even call for a civil war to secure his father’s release and expose the alleged corruption of the ruling YSR Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh. The Telangana election results will be announced on December 3.