The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre clash seems to have reached a flash point.
Taking a cue from his West Bengal counterpart, Mamata Banjerjee, the AP Chief Minister too chose to challenge and defy Constitutional bodies like CBI and Election Commission.
In the past, both have banned CBI’s entry into their respective states. Thereafter, if Manata chose to stage sit-in dharna protesting against her Kolkata City Police Commissioner’s arrest warrant by the CBI for defying its summons, then Naidu too, in a surprise move, had decided to revoke the ‘transfer’ of his ‘Man Friday” and state police intelligence chief A P Venkateswar Rao.
On Tuesday, the Election Commission in response to a complaint from the principle Opposition, YSRCP, that the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is misusing the state police and named certain officers direct involvement in encouraging defections as well removal of names from voters list, besides phone tapping, has directed the state Chief Secretary to transfer out the DG (Intelligence) as well two districts SPs.
Within hours, visibly upset Naidu, redirected the same Chief Secretary to revoke transfer orders.
The ‘open confrontation’ with the Constitutional bodies, indeed left many young officers in disbelief.
The Naidu government has rejected the orders of the EC and issued a GO revoking the transfer orders of the Venkateswara Rao, amidst high drama. The two GOs issued late on Wednesday – one bringing all police official from top to bottom level in the purview of the Election Commission and another revoking the transfer orders of Venkateswara Rao.
Interestingly, some retired senior officers, justify the new trend of state chief ministers defying the central agencies as they with ulterior motives target Opposition parties led governments.
“This is very unfortunate situation. None of the officers today in police or other Central agencies are functioning upholding ‘morals’ and ‘ethics’. They too join the political ranks to get plum posts. As a result, even the officials holding high office in Constitutional bodies are acting like ‘His Master Voice,” a senior retired DGP rank official said on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Naidu also dashed off a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, expressing shock and dismay over its directive. He said, as a matter of fact, the DG (Intelligence) doesn’t come under the purview of Election Commmission and also found fault for ‘acting according to their political masters. “I regret to say that even EC had to fall into the bracket of other Constitutional bodies, which have lost its credibility for their recent actions.”