Hyderabad: An internal conflict seems to be brewing between Andhra Pradesh (caretaker) chief minister N. Chandrababu and interim chief secretary of the state L. V. Subrahmanyam. The latter, appointed to the post by Andhra chief electoral officer (CEO) Gopal Kumar Krishna Dwivedi, skipped a review meeting held by Naidu last week, triggering an administrative conflict.
An AP government secretariat official, who did not want to be named, said Naidu has called on 14 May a cabinet meeting, typically convened by the chief secretary, and said Subrahmanyam’s presence is crucial. The official said that the interim chief secretary is likely to attend it, as only the person holding the post can convene it.
However, a conflict between Subrahmanyam and Naidu may lead to administrative issues given the importance of the chief secretary’s post.
“Both Naidu and Subrahmanyam seem to be not cooperating purposely. Until his latest appointment, the latter was special chief secretary of youth affairs, which is an unimportant post. The latter was also involved in a corruption case and was also booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation under the erstwhile Congress government (joint AP) and was known to be close to former AP chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy," said a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader who is close to Naidu, requesting anonymity.
The relationship between Naidu and Subrahmanyam has been strained from the beginning, after the latter was appointed on orders of the AP CEO, replacing IAS officer Anil Chandra Punetha. The issue began after the main opposition YSR Congress Party lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, alleging that AP director general of police R. P. Thakur and additional director general of police (intelligence) A. B. Venkateshwar Rao, were supporting the TDP.
The EC had ordered the transfer of Kadapa and Srikakulam district superintendents of police in the run up the 11 April assembly and Lok Sabha polls in Andhra. Punetha as chief secretary in March had issued transfer orders of Venkateshwar Rao and the two police superintendents. However, the very next day he withdrew the transfer order of Rao, for which he was pulled-up by the EC and subsequently transferred and replaced by Subrahmanyam.
Amidst all this, Naidu has also been alleging that the EC was biased, and has taken exception to the actions of CEO Gopal Krishna Dwivedi. Naidu had also written a complaint to the EC in Delhi in the matter.
It remains to be seen if the issue drags further or is resolved, till the new government is formed after the election results are declared on 23 May.