EC Orders Transfer of Top Cops in Andhra Pradesh, Naidu Cancels Transfer of State Intelligence Chief
The EC on Tuesday had ordered the transfer of three top cops, which includes state intelligence chief AB Venkateswara Rao, and the police superintendents of Srikakulam and Kadapa districts, with immediate effect.
File photo of TDP chief and Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu. (PTI)
Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government and the Election Commission of India are locked in a heated battle over the transfer of three top police officials in the state.
The EC on Tuesday had ordered the transfer of three top cops, which includes state intelligence chief AB Venkateswara Rao, and the police superintendents of Srikakulam and Kadapa districts, with immediate effect. The poll panel had directed that the three officials be attached to the police headquarters and not be given any election-related duties.
Although Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s government initially issued an order following the directives, they issued another one on Wednesday. The latest order, while giving the go-ahead for the other two transfers, cancelled Rao’s.
The EC’s orders came after the opposition YSR Congress filed a complaint on Monday, alleging that the phones of party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy and senior leaders such as YV Subba Reddy and Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy are being tapped. The party in its complaint demanded the transfer of a few senior officials.
The poll panel on Tuesday ordered the transfers and said the decision was based on a few complaints.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Naidu raised objections over the EC’s decision, calling it “one-sided”. He also urged the poll panel to be neutral and impartial.
“The EC transferred the officials without giving any concrete reason. How can they take action based on a YSRCP complaint? We will fight this out. This kind of action is not good for democracy,” Naidu said.
The state government also filed a writ petition in the high court, arguing there is no concrete reason behind the transfers and that no preliminary inquiry has been conducted. But state electoral officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi had said that the action was taken after a preliminary inquiry, according to reports.
The hearing is adjourned to tomorrow. The court has also asked the Andhra government to present an affidavit of officials part of election duty.
The Telugu Desam Party chief said that he would launch a “save democracy and save democratic institutions” campaign for free and fair elections. “The DGP looks after the security of the chief minister. He does not come under the purview of the EC,” said Naidu.
The state government also released a third order highlighting the list of officials on election duty, which does not mention Rao’s name.
Naidu claimed that the issue is a well-hatched conspiracy on the part of the YSRCP, Bharatiya Janata Party and Telangana Rashtra Samithi. He also questioned why the EC had failed to take action on complaints of fake voter deletion requests.
“Twenty-five lakh votes were removed during last year’s Telangana state election. Now the YSRCP resorted to removing nine lakh votes from the list. The EC failed to take action even though the accused were identified,” Naidu said.
According to sources, YSRCP leaders claim they have evidence to prove the allegations and will present it in court.
A delegation of TDP and YSRCP leaders will separately meet the Election Commission on Thursday.
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