After arresting senior TDP leader Atchannaidu, the Anti-Corruption Bureau sleuths are now set to take into custody former labour and employment minister Pithani Satyanarayana’s son in the ESI scam.

On Friday, the ACB officials arrested Pithani Satyanarayana’s former personal secretary Murali Mohan at the Secretariat in Amaravati. Currently, Murali Mohan is working as section officer in the municipal department.

Meanwhile, Pithani Satyanarayana’s son Pithani Venkatesh had filed anticipatory bail fearing that he would be arrested by the ACB officials. The petitioner’s lawyer argued that the arrests are being carried out as part of the YSRCP government’s vindictive politics. A team of ACB officials have been sent to the residence of Pithani Venkatesh in Hyderabad to arrest him. It is not sure if Pithani Venkatesh is in his Hyderabad residence.

Already nine people have been so far arrested in the ESI scam, including Atchannaidu. Atchannaidu was arrested on June 12 in an early morning swoop from his residence in Tekkali in Srikakulam district. Around 300 police personnel circled Atchannaidu’s residence, some of them even scaled the compound wall, barged in and arrested. The TDP leader at the time of arrest underwent piles surgery. Despite the surgery, the TDP leader was made to travel more than 500 kms from his home town to Guntur and forced to sit in a car for over 15 hours.

Atchannaidu was arrested in the ESI scam that relates to the purchase of drugs, medicines, medical kits and furniture. The Vigilance and Enforcement directorate found irregularities in the procurement of drugs, medicines and medical kits.

Atchannaidu had to undergo a second surgery in Guntur General Hospital. Later, he was shifted to Vijayawada sub-jail. Hearing a petition, the High Court directed the state government to shift Atchannaidu to a private hospital for better treatment.

The ESI scam relates to several irregularities in the purchase of medicines, surgical equipment and furniture to the tune of Rs 150. ESI directors C Ravi Kumar, G Vijay Kumar, joint director Janardhan, superintendent Chakravarthy and a senior assistant were already arrested.

TDP president Chandrababu Naidu termed the arrest of Atchannaidu a kidnap and called it an attack on the backward classes. He had stated that Atchannaidu was arrested as he had exposed the misdeeds of the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government.

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