Chennai: The ruling AIADMK on Monday "strongly protested" the manner in which transfers of many IAS and IPS officials were affected by the Election Commission in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, describing it as "an apparent knee jerk response to motivated petitions and representations" from DMK and Congress.
An AIADMK team led by M Thambidurai MP, also Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, on Monday submitted a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi in Thiruvananthapuram, seeking ECI to revoke "the transfer orders, given that such a short period is left before the date of polling."
"We strongly protest the manner in which such large-scale transfers have been ordered by the Election Commission of India in an apparent knee jerk response to motivated petitions and representations from vested interests," the letter said.
"We strongly urge the Election Commission of India to revoke the transfer orders, given that such a short period is left before the date of polling," it said.
Referring to the transfers and appointments of senior officials, including a DGP (Elections), it said that though there were no complaints on arrangements for conduct of polls in the state, the DGP who was in overall charge of the Police force, had been "divested" of all responsibilities relating to conduct of elections.
In the letter, it said that such large-scale transfers ordered by EC in the run up to the polls were "unprecedented in Tamil Nadu".
"It is shocking to note that such a large number of officers have been transferred, based only on the motivated petitions and representations received from DMK and Congress and without due enquiry into the basis of these allegations or a background check of the officers concerned," the party said.
The petition said it was "deplorable" that such transfers had been effected by the EC based on "motivated and false petitions submitted by persons who had occupied high positions as Cabinet Ministers in the previous
UPA Government headed by the Congress, of which DMK was also a part."
"We wish to categorically point out that such large scale transfers in a state like Tamil Nadu, which is known for its strong and good governance, is counter productive to the peaceful and efficient conduct of polls," it said.
With barely two weeks left for polling, the newly posted officers would "hardly" have the time to effectively deal with poll-related activities and arrangements, especially on the law and order front, which, the party said, required detailed local knowledge and a grasp of recent developments in the area.
"Hence, the large-scale transfers ordered by the Election Commission solely based on the malicious petitions of opposition parties is administratively ill advised, disruptive of the smooth conduct of the election process, besides having an adverse impact on the morale of the official machinery," it said.
The state government was adhering to all EC guidelines on posting of officers to ensure free and fair polls, the party insisted, even as it objected to the "unprecedented" transfer of "non-poll" related official, MD of Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV), J Kumaragurubaran.
"The sole purpose of the DMK and Congress seems to be to malign the AIADMK and give an impression that the officialdom is with the ruling party, while this is not so. Except throwing the names of officers, they have not cited a single instance where the officers have acted in a partisan manner," it said.
AIADMK recalled that DMK leaders had in the past too levelled allegations against EC and are doing so now also.
"The DMK-Congress combine has always adopted such pressure tactics. If officers are transferred on frivolous grounds merely to appease the DMK Congress combine, it is tantamount to yielding to their pressure tactics and gives a false impression amongst the voters regarding the AIADMK party and the Government headed by it," the petition said.
This was "blatantly unfair" and did not allow for "a free and fair play in the polls," the ruling party contended.
Many IAS and IPS officers in Tamil Nadu have been transferred on the EC's directives.
Updated Date: May 02, 2016 14:30 PM