City Congress MLAs and leaders on Friday continued to mount pressure on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to withdraw a recent order transferring police officers en masse.
The leaders, upset with the chief minister for not posting officials of their choice, alleged that the government has been interfering in the transfers. Officers from inspectors to DySP rank are being transferred.
Congress sources said 23 party MLAs, several of them from Bangalore city, have submitted a letter to Siddaramaiah, complaining that officers of their choice were not posted to their respective constituencies. They have also brought the issue to the notice of KPCC chief G Parameshwara. The MLAs are said to be planning to fax a complaint to AICC Karnataka in-charge Digvijay Singh if the chief minister refuses to give in.
The MLAs are upset about the alleged disparity in the way the chief minister’s office has been treating their requests. Those close to Siddaramaiah are getting their wishes fulfilled, while others were left disappointed. An influential minister from Bangalore had requested for the transfer of four circle inspectors, but the government transferred only one of them, sources said.
They alleged that a retired IPS officer from Mysore, who is close to the chief minister, has been interfering in the transfers and postings. They also alleged interference by close relatives of some ministers.
“An MLA needs proper cooperation from officials, especially police, to do good work in the constituency. It is considered easier for ruling party MLAs to get officials of their choice posted to a place. But it has become difficult for them to get local-level officers transferred in the government,” they charged.
The Congress MLAs have been grousing over the issue for long. They raised the issue in several legislature party meetings. They had problems with the transfer of officials in almost all departments. They also complained that the ministers refused to pay heed to their petitions on developmental works in constituencies.
Siddaramaiah flatly denied the charges of interference. “There is no lapse on the part of the government. The transfers are being done as per recommendations of the police establishment board,” he told reporters after a meeting with Home Minister K J George and senior police officers at his home office “Krishna.”
There are speculations that the controversial order transferring over 600 policemen has been put on hold. But George said the government has not issued any such direction. “The government has nothing to do with the police transfers. The board is the competent authority,” he added.
Meanwhile, there was chaos as some police officers took charge of new posts, while there was no movement on some other transfers. The movement was mainly in the districts as many inspectors posted to Bangalore did not take charge. At a press conference on Friday, Bangalore Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar told reporters that he had instructed the officers not to relieve the transferred officers till 4 pm, as he had received instructions from the higher-ups.
When contacted after 4 pm, Auradkar told Deccan Herald that he had received instructions which he implemented orally. “It is up to the director-general and inspector-general of police office to communicate the current status. I am not in any way connected with the process,” he said. Members of the Police Establishment Board remained tight-lipped.
DG&IGP L R Pachau said a clear picture will emerge shortly. “Those who have been relieved have to wait to assume charge and those who have not been relieved will continue in the same position till further instruction. I can’t say anything beyond this. We should be able to have a clear picture shortly,” he said.