Vijayawada: In a major development, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has transferred the present chief secretary, Anil Chandra Punetha, to a non-election post and appointed 1983 batch IAS officer L.V.
Subramanyam in his place. Mr Punetha was caught up in the controversial matter of the transfer of state Intelligence DG A.B. Venkateswara Rao ordered by the ECI.
The transfer of Mr Punetha comes close on the heels of the state DGP R.P. Thakur’s meeting with the chief election commissioner Sunil Arora and explaining why the ECI’s orders on transferring Venkateswara Rao had not been obeyed.
It is learnt that Mr Punetha had taken the decision to revoke the transfer of Mr Rao after holding an hour-long discussion with Mr Thakur in the last week of March.
YSR Congress leaders had alleged that both Mr Rao and Mr Thakur were working on behalf of the Telugu Desam and lodged a complaint with the ECI seeking the transfer of both the officers.
Mr Punetha was summoned by the CEC last Monday and asked to explain why he issued a Government Order nullifying the ECI’s orders. He came under fire from the CEC for defying its order to transfer three IPS officers, including Mr Venkateswara Rao.
According to reports, Mr Punetha apologised to the CEC for issuing the Government Orders hastily, and assured the commission that it would not happen in the future.
Despite this he was transferred and given a non-election post. Mr Punetha is due to retire on May 31.
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