N Chandrababu Naidu is a two-time former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (File).
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday dismissed N Chandrababu Naidu's petition to quash his arrest and remand in connection with an alleged Rs 371 crore scam. An anti-corruption court sent him to the custody of the state police's Crime Investigation Department for two days. The Telugu Desam Party chief was arrested this month and sent to judicial custody for a 14-day period that ended today.
Mr Naidu will be questioned within jail premises by the CID between 9.30 AM and 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday. The sessions will be recorded on video but this will not be released to the public.
Judges will oversee the proceedings.
The CID has named Mr Naidu as the "principal conspirator" and "accused number 1" in a multi-crore scam involving the state's skill development corporation. He was earlier "accused number 37".
The police case against the TDP boss has roiled Andhra Pradesh politics - there have been clashes as party workers protest his arrest - with just months to go for national and Assembly elections.
There have also been protests within the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
READ | Uproar In Andhra Pradesh Assembly Over Chandrababu Naidu's Arrest
On Thursday 14 lawmakers from Mr Naidu's party were suspended for 24 hours for disrupting proceedings to demand his release. Two of them were suspended for the session.
A rebel MLA from the ruling YSR Congress Party was also suspended.
Hindpur MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna was warned for "twirling his moustache" and "slapping (his) thigh". Mr Balakrishna is an actor and Mr Naidu's brother-in-law.
READ |To Protest Chandrababu Naidu's Arrest, MLA Blows Whistle Inside Assembly
On Friday, two more TDP MLAs were suspended, prompting the party to call on all its lawmakers to boycott the entire session.
Last week Mr Naidu's son, Nara Lokesh, spoke to NDTV and hit out at charges against his father. "I should call for a civil war against the corrupt regime (of the ruling YSCP)," he said.
READ | "Should Call For Civil War": Chandrababu Naidu's Son To NDTV On Case Against Father
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday emphasised his government's belief that Mr Naidu is guilty of "orchestrating and promoting" the alleged Rs 371 crore scam.
Mr Naidu has firmly denied all allegations against him.
What is Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Scam?
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 expenditure by private entities, the then government provided an advance of Rs 371 crores - its 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.