Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh): The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Wednesday said the decision of the Election Commission of India (EC) to transfer three IPS officers in Andhra Pradesh is “the culmination of a well-hatched conspiracy” by the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
This comes a day after the EC transferred three IPS officers in Andhra Pradesh after YSRCP leaders accused them of working in favour of N Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP.
The EC issued transfer orders to Intelligence Director General AB Venkateswara Rao, Kadapa SP Rahul Dev Sharma and Srikakulam SP Venkata Ratnam.
In this regard, TDP spokesperson K Rammohan Rao said: “The direction of the EC to act upon frivolous complaint of YSRCP without following due procedures and principles of natural justice is not only unjustified but also unconstitutional. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has been provided with Z plus security as he has the highest level of security threat. He had suffered an assassination attempt in the past. The director general intelligence directly supervises the security of Andhra Chief Minister and this attempt of the EC during the election campaigning is nothing but a threat Naidu’s security.”
Rao further stated that the transfer of three officers has been deliberately directed at a time when the investigation in the murder case of YS Vivekananda Reddy is at a critical stage.
“No reason was mentioned for the transfer of concerned officers and they were not even given an opportunity to present their versions as a measure of principles of natural justice. Further, the transfer of Kadapa SP hampers the investigation into the brutal murder of former MP YS Vivekananda Reddy in his residence. The transfer of SP Kadapa based on the complaint filed by YSRCP leaders, who themselves are accused in the murder. Presently, the investigation is at a critical stage and the transfer of IPS officers compromises the pace and outcome of the investigation,” he said.
Rao further alleged that the EC preferred to be a “mute spectator” to the TDP’s complaint regarding a criminal conspiracy by YSRCP to delete the names of TDP voters through “pseudonymous” Form 7 applications.
“So far no action has been initiated in the case. This is an indication of blatant partiality that adversely affects the principles of neutrality and level playing field which are fundamental pillars of a free and fair election,” the TDP spokesperson said.
“As we have been cautioning that the independence of various institutions in the country is being compromised and the EC, which is the last hope to save democracy in the country also appears to be succumbing to the pressures of the BJP and its friendly parties. This is a serious threat to free and fair elections in the country and destroys the morale of officers,” he added.
The transfer of three officers comes after a delegation of YSRCP leaders led by Member of Parliament (MP) Vijayasai Reddy met with the EC on Tuesday to register a complaint against some police officers, alleging that they are working in favour of the TDP.
The EC, in its order attaching all three IPS officers, stated that their immediate subordinates will take charge. Also, the three officers have been asked to not take-up any election-related duty.
Elections to 175-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly is scheduled to be held on April 11 simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.