With Sandeshkhali in North 24-Parganas continuing to be on the edge, the Election Commission of India took stock of the security situation and the poll preparedness in the run up to the announcement of the dates of parliamentary elections.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) will deploy 100 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in Telangana for the upcoming elections. The CAPE personnel will report to duty by 20 October, almost a month prior to the elections in the state.
Elections will be held in the state in a single phase on 30 November.
Except a few Maoist pockets, polls are usually peaceful in the state, but the Commission wants to make the polls inducement-free after the bitter experience of Munugode bypoll which saw free flow of cash, freebies and liquor by all parties in the fray.
Yesterday, the ECI had transferred 13 top cops, including commissioners of police of Hyderabad, Warangal and Nizamabad and four collectors, a move that has proverbially set the cat among pigeons.
According to sources, the officials were considered to be close to the ruling party and nine among the 10 SPs were non cadre officers (non IPS). During a meeting between the full commission and the police administration that had taken place last week questions were raised about such a high number of non cadre officers in the posts of Superintendent of police.
Following the sudden transfer of district collectors, superintendents of police, police commissioners and an IAS officer by the ECI, Opposition parties approached the commission with more complaints. State Congress chief A Revanth Reddy said his party wants the removal of DGP Anjani Kumar. He also accused Cyberabad Police Commissioner Stephen Ravindra of tapping the phones of Congress leaders.
BSP candidate for Sirpur Assembly constituency Dr RS Praveen Kumar, who is also an ex IPS officer, complained to the commission, along with a video evidence against SP of Asifabad K Suresh Kumar who allegedly is close to the BRS MLA Koneru Konappa and his brother Krishna.
“How can we have faith in such an officer who was found in the company of criminals contesting elections,” he asked.
Krishna is an accused in the assault of a woman forest range officer.
More than Rs 20 crore cash seized between 9 and 12 October after the imposition of model code of conduct (MCC) apart from gold, silver and diamonds worth Rs14 crore, liquor worth Rs 86 lakh and ganja worth Rs 89 lakh. Freebies seized include 7040 kg of rice, 440 sarees, 80 sewing machines, 87 cookers and even a car.