Telugu Desam Legislature Party Deputy leader and former Andhra Pradesh minister K Atchannaidu was taken into custody by state Anti-Corruption Bureau sleuths early on Friday in connection with alleged Rs 151 crore scam in the ESI Corporation, ACB sources said.
Atchannaidu was the Labour Minister in the previous TDP government when the scandal allegedly took place in the procurement of medicines and medical equipment.
ACB sleuths went to the senior TDP leader's residence at Tekkali in Srikakulam district in the early hours of Friday and took him away.
An inquiry by the state Vigilance and Enforcement Department had in February this year claimed to have unearthed the scam in the Employees State Insurance Corporation allegedly involving several top officials during the period between 2014 and 2019, when the TDP was in power.
Reacting to the ACB's action against Atchannaidu, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu alleged the former was "kidnapped" by over 100 policemen and taken to an undisclosed location.
In a statement, he held Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy responsible for it and demanded the resignation of Home Minister M Sucharita.
He termed it as an "attack on the backward classes", saying Atchannaidu, who belonged to the community, was in the forefront "exposing the misdeeds" of the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress government.