MANGALAGIRI: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA and former minister Kinjarapu Atchannaidu has been remanded to 14-day custody in the sensational ESI scam for which he was arrested on Friday. Following his arrest in Tekkali and shifting to Vijayawada, the legislator was produced before the judge of the Anti-Corruption Bureau Court at his residence late on Friday night.
Atchannaidu is accused no.2 in the case. Prime accused, A1, Ramesh Kumar, was also remanded to a 14-day custody. The two were made to undergo medical tests as per procedure at the Mangalagiri ESI Hospital before they were produced before the judge.
After remanding him to 14-day custody, the ACB court judge directed the police to shift him to the Guntur Government Hospital considering issues of his ill health. Atchannaidu was first shifted to the Vijayawada jail. The process of shifting him to Guntur General Hospital was on. Ramesh Kumar, on the other hand, had been shifted to the Rajahmundry Central Jail.
Atchannaidu and five others, all former directors of ESI under the previous TDP rule, were arrested in connection with the ESI scam which runs into Rs 155 crores. The former labour minister in the previous TDP government was accused of blatantly flouting norms to bestow contracts to a few firms on nomination basis instead of calling for tenders for the purchases of medicines and equipment for ESI hospitals in the state. More than Rs 150 crores of ESI funds were alleged to have been misappropriated by using fabricated bills and indents to make the purchases at inflated rates.