VIJAYAWADA: The reported remarks of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu against Chief Secretary LV Subramanyam and the former’s behaviour with Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi in the last couple of days are snowballing into a major controversy.A group of 13 retired IAS officers shot off a letter to Naidu urging him to withdraw his comments and apologise for the same.
They also urged Naidu to avoid making such comments in the future. Finding fault with the Election Commission for transferring Chief Secretary AnilChandra Punetha and replacing him with LV Subramanyam, the Chief Minister had alleged that the EC appointed an officer, who was co-accused in a case along with YSRC chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Similarly, Naidu also called on CEO Gopal Krishna Dwivedi in his office a day before the elections and reportedly entered into an argument with him over transferring officials as per EC’s directions without verifying facts.
Later, Naidu also allegedly said that there was no need of a CEO in AP when he was implementing all the directions of the EC in toto.Taking serious note of Naidu’s comments, the retired IAS officers rallied behind Subramanyam and described the latter as an “outstanding officer.” “It is unfortunate that the CM is referring to him as an accused even after the cases have been quashed by the High Court,’’ they said.
Similarly, the retired bureaucrats also found fault with the manner in which the Chief Minister spoke to the CEO to “intimidate” him, which they said is “not in the best traditions of administration.” They demanded that the Chief Minister desist from such action in future. The letter was released by as many as 13 retired IAS officers of United AP, Telangana and AP cadre including Sripada Bhalerao, KV Rao, TS Appa Rao, AK Parida, SK Sinha, Sutirtha Bhattacharya, Vidya Sagar, MG Gopal, CVSK Sharma, Vinod K Agarwal, Jatish Chandra Mohanty, Dr Vijay Kumar and IYR Krishna Rao.
In a related development, former secretary to the Government of India E A S Sarma wrote a letter to the CEC stating that Chandrababu Naidu went to the extent of belittling the ECI-appointed Chief Secretary by calling him a “co-accused” and someone who worked as a “covert agent.” “The comments defamed L V Subramanyam and intimidates all those civil servants acting under the oversight of the commission when MCC is in force,’’ he said.
“The comments made by Chandrababu Naidu are derogatory, detrimental to the authority of the ECI and hurting the morale of the civil servants at all levels working as a part of the election process. Such comments tend to belittle the democratic traditions of the country and demean the authority of the Commission which is acting in pursuance of the authority conferred on it by Article 324 of the Constitution,” he said.
“Chandrababu Naidu had reportedly spoken in defiance of the Commission’s authority, causing defamation of the Commission itself,’’ Sarma said and added that there is possibility that persons like Naidu would even victimise the civil servants who prefer to obey the orders of the Commission during the elections, rather than his.He urged the ECI to initiate cases against Naidu, after ascertaining the contents of his reported statements, under the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act and the Indian Penal Code.