The Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed Kumar Vishwajeet as the Additional Director General (ADG) of Intelligence, Andhra Pradesh, to replace outgoing senior officer A B Venkateswara Rao.
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. The other two were Nalin Prabhat (1992 batch) and Mahesh Chandra Ladda (1998).
This came a day after the Andhra Pradesh High Court pulled up the state government for challenging an earlier EC order.
The controversy began on March 25 after the YSRCP sent a letter to the EC, alleging that the phones of its senior leaders were being tapped by the ruling TDP using state machinery. On March 26, the EC issued orders to transfer Venkata Ratnam, SP of Srikakulam; Rahul Dev Sharma, SP of Kadapa; and AB Venkateswara Rao. However, the EC did not mention the reason for the transfers in the order and was criticised for it.
On March 27, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu wrote to the EC to reconsider its decision. Naidu also argued that the Intelligence Chief was not designated for election duty, and was only responsible for providing security to the CM, his cabinet colleagues and MLAs and MPs.
Later that same evening, Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha issued two Government Orders (GO). In the first GO, the two Superintendents of Police were transferred but the transfer of Venkateswara Rao was cancelled.
The state government also moved court but the HC refused to issue a stay on the EC's order and ruled that the Intelligence chief must be transferred. The court also pulled up the state government for issuing an order to reverse the ECâ€™s decision.