BREAKING NEWS

Election Commission appoints new chief for Intelligence wing

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed Kumar Vishwajeet as the Additional Director General  (ADG), Intelligence, AP, in the place of senior officer A.B. Venkateswara Rao, following allegations by the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) that the phone conversations of their leaders are being tapped by the state official machinery.
 
Vishwajeet, a 1994 batch IPS officer, has been serving as the state-level police recruitment board and is one among the three names recommended to the ECI.  The other two names recommended were Nalin Prabhat (1992 batch) and Mahesh Chandra Ladda (1998 batch).
 
The appointment was done by the ECI, a day after the AP High Court pulled up the state government for challenging an EC order issued earlier. The replacement of the senior police officer was necessitated after the YSRCP complained to the ECI that phones of the senior party leaders were being tapped by the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with the help of the state officials. 
 
Immediately the next day, the EC issued orders transferring the Srikakulam SP Venkata Ratnam and Kadapa SP Rahul Dev Sharma. Along with them, Venkateswara Rao was also transferred but the EC did not cite any reason for the transfers.
 
On March 27, AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu wrote to the EC to reconsider its decision. He also argued that the Intelligence Chief was not designated for election duty and responsible for the security of the CM, his Cabinet and other elected representatives including the MLAs and MPs.
 
Later, in the evening on the same day, Chief Secretary Anil Chandra  Punetha issued two GOs transferring the SPs of the two districts but cancelled the transfer of Venkateswara Rao.
 
This was viewed seriously by the HC which pulled up the government for the order reversing the EC decision. The court ruled that the Intelligence chief must be transferred, when the state government asked for a stay on the EC’s order on Venkateswara Rao

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