As direct fallout of the cash-for-vote case, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s residence-cum-camp office has been fortified with Andhra Pradesh Greyhounds officials. Guards from the First Battalion Special Police of Kondapur of Telangana state have also been replaced by Second Battalion Special Police personnel of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. Sources in Telangana intelligence said, “All Telangana Police guards have been replaced by Andhra Pradesh Police.” A senior police official of Hyderabad said, “Greyhound commandos, who deal with Naxals, were brought in and as guards at the on Tuesday replacing the Kondapur Battalion Police with Kurnool Battalion Police.”
A Telangana official who deals with VIP security said, “Mr Naidu has NSG protection cover and also close security cover of Andhra Pradesh’s intelligence security wing. The Hyderabad City Security Wing used to take care of the access control points and anti-sabotage checks. CSW was replaced by the Andhra Pradesh police 10-15 days before the cash-for-vote scam.” The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday deployed its own police personnel, drawn from various units of Andhra Pradesh state police, outside the residence of state’s Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headquarters as Telangana government appeared to be preparing the ground to serve notices to several TDP leaders, including CM Naidu, in the bribery scam.
Till Tuesday evening, it was Telangana police that handled the Andhra Pradesh CM’s security in Hyderabad including the police escort, the inner and outer protection rings and also provided personal security officers to AP ministers. But now, the Naidu government has deployed Greyhound commandos and AP Special Police personnel outside the CM’s residence and other places. Andhra Pradesh police may also take charge of security cover for all the state’s ministers.
Sources claim that the reason behind the move is to thwart any attempt by the Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to serve notices to TDP leaders. The other TDP leaders may include two Rajya Sabha TDP MPs, from whose bank accounts money was allegedly withdrawn to be paid to the nominated MLA of Telangana, Elvis Stephenson, by TDP MLA Revanth Reddy, who was arrested on May 31 by the Telangana ACB.
The Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to bring in nearly 1,800 AP police personnel to Hyderabad further raised tensions, with Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao protesting the move strongly. Amid a phone-tapping scare, Telangana officers, ministers and MLAs reportedly stopped taking calls. While officers were asked to keep their mobile phones switched off in a bid to maintain absolute operational secrecy, the TRS government even cut off phone lines to the Telangana ACB and Intelligence Department.
Meanwhile, TDP MLAs closed ranks behind the CM in demanding equal rights over Hyderabad the joint capital for 10 years under Section 8 of the AP Re-organisation Act. Section 8 empowers the Governor to look after law and order in Hyderabad. Telangana CM also met Governor ESL Narasimhan and made a strong pitch for keeping law and order in Hyderabad in the hands of the Telangana police. Late on Tuesday evening, the Telangana ACB issued notices to TDP MLA from Sathupalli, Sandra Venkata Veeraiah, and the party’s candidate for the Legislative Council polls, Vem Narender Reddy. Veeriah said over the phone that he would come to Hyderabad Wednesday and see the notice that was left at the MLA’s official quarter.