With just two days to go before Andhra Pradesh heads to the polls, the Election Commission issued orders transferring yet another IPS officer in the state on Tuesday. Praksam District Superintendent Koya Praveen was transferred by the EC to a non-election post, and replaced by Siddharth Kaushal, a 2012 batch IPS officer.
The EC however, did not give any reasons for the sudden transfer of the senior police officer.
Meanwhile, it also issued transfer orders to Tadepalli Inspector of Police, Y Srinivasa Rao, and Guntur Urban CCS Inspector A V Suresh Kumar, to non-election posts, with immediate effect. Tadepalli police station comes under the jurisdiction of Mangalagiri constituency where Nara Lokesh, the son of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, is contesting from.
The state government and the EC have been locked in a battle over the transfer of various senior officials to non-election posts, after the opposition YSRCP party filed a complaint alleging interference into the election process.
Last week, the EC shunted out the state's Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha for allegedly defying its order to transfer three top police officials. The poll panel has appointed L.V. Subrahmanyam, an IAS officer from the 1983 batch, as the new Chief Secretary.
The move had come four days after the EC summoned Punetha and reportedly pulled him up for defying its order to transfer three IPS officers, including State Intelligence chief A.B. Venkateswara Rao.
On March 26, the EC had ordered transfer of Intelligence Director General Rao, and Superintendents of Police of Srikakulam and Kapada districts. The same night, the Chief Secretary issued an order transferring all the three officials.
However, the next day he issued an order cancelling the transfer of Intelligence chief and notifying transfer of two other officers.
The state government had also challenged the transfer of police officials but the Andhra Pradesh High Court refused to intervene in the EC order and ruled that the Intelligence chief must be transferred. Kumar Vishwajeet was later appointed by the EC. A 1994 batch IPS officer, Vishwajeet was serving as the Chairman of the State Level Police Recruitment Board and was one of three names recommended to the ECI by the state government.