Emotional scenes were witnessed as former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu reached his residence here early Wednesday morning, 13 hours after he walked out of Rajahmundry jail.
Naidu, who arrived to a warm welcome by family members and supporters, was visibly moved when some of his relatives broke down while embracing him.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief comforted them and advised them to be courageous. He, along with his family members, then participated in puja.
Naidu reached his residence at Undavalli after 5 a.m. His wife Bhuvaneswari welcomed him in a traditional manner.
Priests performed various rituals while a large number of women leaders and workers of TDP lined up with ‘gummadikaya’ (pumpkins) in their hands.
They broke the pumpkins, an act which is considered auspicious.
After spending 52 days in judicial custody in the Skill Development Corporation case, Naidu had walked out of jail on Tuesday following the interim bail granted by Andhra Pradesh High Court on health grounds.
Naidu had stepped out of Rajahmundry Central Jail around 4.40 p.m. to a grand welcome by his family members, TDP leaders and supporters.
After thanking people and various political parties for their support and denying any wrongdoing in his 40-year-long political career, he left by road for Amaravati in a huge convoy of vehicles.
The 73-year-old was accorded a warm welcome by thousands of supporters all along the route. Men and women were lined up at several places to greet him. They were showering petals and raising slogans of ‘Jai Babu, Jai Jai Babu’.
It was an unprecedented show of support for the veteran leader. Even after midnight a large number of people poured onto the road to welcome him.
Huge gatherings caused traffic jams at several places along the route.
Sitting in his car, Naidu waved at the crowd. He was visibly moved by the tremendous public support. It took 13 hours to cover a distance of 186 km, which in normal course takes three-and-half hours.
The High Court granted interim bail to Naidu for four weeks on health grounds. The bail is subject to certain conditions.
Naidu was directed to submit a surety of Rs 1 lakh.
The court asked him not to influence anyone related to the case and surrender before the court on November 29.
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) had arrested Naidu on September 9 in the Skill Development scam which allegedly took place when he was the chief minister.
The next day a court in Vijayawada had sent him to judicial custody. The CID had later filed PT warrant petitions against Naidu in three other corruption cases.
After walking out of jail on Tuesday, Naidu said in 40-year-long political career, he did nothing wrong. “I neither did anything wrong nor allowed anyone to do anything wrong,” he said.
He thanked Telugu people in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and other parts of the country and abroad for their support and solidarity.
Naidu said he would always remain indebted to them for their support and for highlighting the development works he had undertaken as the chief minister.
The TDP chief also thanked political parties and their leaders for their support.
He especially mentioned Jana Sena Party (JSP) leader and actor Pawan Kalyan, who has declared that JSP and TDP will together contest the next year’s elections.