Sending out a strict message to the bureaucrats in poll bound Gujarat, the election commission on Monday ordered transfer of five IPS and four district collectors, who are perceived close to the Modi administration.
The EC acted on a number of complaints filed by the opposition party and others regarding perceived closeness of these officials to the Modi administration.
These officials are: AK Sharma, joint commissioner of police, Ahmedabad crime branch, Himanshu Shukla, deputy commissioner of police, Ahmedabad crime branch, HK Patel, SP Jamnagar, MS Bharada, SP Patan and ND Solanki, DCP, Surat.
Four district collectors shifted are from Dahod, Tapi, Sabarkantha and Banaskantha. New collectors appointed by the EC are: Shahmina Hussain in Sabarkantha, Thennarasan in Banaskantha, Rakesh Shanker in Dahod and Shalini Agarwal in Tapi.
"We will now send a panel of names for each post to the EC regarding new appointments in the police," Gujarat's additional chief secretary, home, SK Nanda said.
The transfer of AK Sharma and Himanshu Shukla is very significant because they head the very powerful Ahmedabad crime branch. The opposition party had complained that Sharma and Shukla were taping mobile phones of leaders of the Congress party and were also tracking their movements.
Sharma is close the Chief Minister Modi and was appointed as JCP, crime ranch a few months before the model code of conduct came in force. Shukla has been in the crime branch since the CBI arrested Abhay Chudasama in connection with the Sohrabuddin fake encounter in April 2010.
Both officials were accused of exceeding their official brief to please the political masters.
When the Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath and two other commissioners visited Gujarat to hold review of poll preparedness on October 28- 29, representatives of the political parties have complained about "partiality of certain police officials and bureaucrats who were carrying out instructions of the ruling dispensation."