07-09-201907-09-2019 14:12:00 IST
Updated On 07-09-2019 14:14:32 ISTUpdated On 07-09-20192019-09-07T08:42:00.215Z07-09-2019 2019-09-07T08:41:51.890Z - 2019-09-07T08:44:32.901Z - 07-09-2019
It’s official..! Senior police officer Stephen Ravindra is not going to be deputed to the Andhra Pradesh police, much against the wishes of Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy. After a three-month limbo and suspense over his deputation, the senior IPS officer has finally reported back to duties in Telangana recently.
Ravindra returning to his original state Telangana has raised many eyebrows and became the talk of the town. He was among the first choice of officers that Jaganmohan Reddy wanted in his team even before he took the oath as AP chief minister.
Stephen Ravindra was known to be one of the most trusted by the YSR clan in view of his past record of service to the family. The senior cop worked as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy when the latter was the chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh between 2004-09. As part of it, he was also in-charge of YSR family’s security.
In view of this past history, Jagan quickly made his moves to rope in the IG-ranked officer into his team. Being one of his most trusted men, the idea was to give him the charge of AP Intelligence Department as its head. As chief minister-designate, Jagan forwarded a formal request to the K Chandrasekhara Rao government in Telangana to consider the senior officer’s deputation.
KCR, who saw a perfect ally in Jagan, quickly concurred with the request and the file was later sent to the Union Home Ministry for its mandatory approval.
On his part, Stephen Ravindra too wasted no time to meet Jagan at his camp office in Tadepalli even before the latter’s formal anointment as CM. After this, Ravindra’s case was out of the public glare as he waited for the Centre’s approval.
He initially went on a month’s leave from his duties in Telangana and had informally rendered his services to the new chief minister in AP. But with the Union MHA reportedly sitting on his file without taking any decision, his one-month leave stretched into three months. Realising the hurdles in the way of Ravindra’s deputation, Jagan is said to have made several attempts to convince the Union government in this regard.
As part of this, he personally met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on many of his Delhi visits and tried to convince him on the need to have the Telangana police officer in his team. All that went in vain as Shah’s ministry reportedly maintained a stoic silence on the matter: It neither approved the proposal nor rejected it.
The subtle messaging from this was clearly understood by both Jagan and Ravindra, prompting the latter to finally return to his parent department in Telangana recently.
Grapevine has it, that strong political considerations, especially from a BJP perspective, are said to have played the spoilsport. The BJP, which is trying to expand its base rapidly in both AP and Telangana by the next Assembly elections, had its own reservations in Ravindra’s case.
Some leaders of BJP’s state unit expressed apprehensions that the prospect of Ravindra being used as the intelligence chief would politically benefit both Jagan and KCR. They were also speculated to have cited the case of AP’s former intelligence chief Venkateswara Rao during the previous TDP rule and how Chandrababu Naidu allegedly used him for his vested political interests.
They were said to have raised the possibility of ‘social equations’ behind the move, which eventually tilted the MHA perception against Jagan’s aspirations.
Another theory doing rounds in the realm of speculation points to an alleged sabotage by a recently emerging pro-Chandrababu group within the BJP as a ‘tit-for-tat’ to the YSRCP government. Jaganmohan Reddy and his party undertook a massive campaign prior to the Assembly elections against the presence of Venkateswara Rao as intelligence chief in view of his alleged role in the poaching of many of his MLAs in the past.
This prompted the Election Commission to order the officer’s transfer which was severely opposed by then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. Soon after the elections, Naidu brought Venkateswara Rao back into the crucial position but his government was eventually ousted from power on May 23rd.
-Durga Prasad Kanamaluru
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