The transfer of three IPS officers by the Election Commission based on a complaint filed by YSR Congress has kicked up a major political storm, with the ruling Telugu Desam deciding to move court if the transfers were not taken back. Calling the action by EC as “extraordinary” and politically motivated Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu dashed a letter to the commission which was carried by government’s representatives to New Delhi on Wednesday morning.
The EC ordered the transfer of Director General (Intelligence) AB Venkateswara Rao, Kadapa Superintendent of Police Rahul Dev Sharma and Srikakulam SP Venkata Raman with immediate effect. The order bars them from taking up any election-related duty and were not even given any immediate assignment. The government was advised to suggest the names of three senior officers out of which the EC will decide the replacement.
What surprised the Chief Minister was the transfer of Rao, who deals with his day to day security arrangement. TDP sources say that Naidu who is under Z Plus cover had one assassination attempt by Maoists on him and his life could be in peril because of EC ‘s decision looking at the ongoing poll campaign.
Talking to party cadre through teleconference on Wednesday the TDP chief wondered how could EC take a decision based on complaints of the opposition party without even seeking an explanation from the affected officers. The YSRCP chief has met the EC in Delhi last month and gave evidence on the officers in question, alleging that they are taking sides with the ruling party.
However, the transfer of Kadapa SP Rahul Dev Sharma surprised everyone as he was considered as an upright officer who is investigating the murder case of YS Vivekananda Reddy the paternal uncle of YS Jaganmohan Reddy. The transfer of Kadapa SP took place on the same day the YSRCP Chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy and Vivekananda’ wife Sowbhagya filed petitions in the AP High Court seeking orders to stop the submission of Special Investigation Team (SIT) report on the murder case till further notice. The YSRCP demanded a CBI inquiry into the murder of their leader just before elections.