The Election Commission on Sunday ordered the suspension of Telangana Director General of Police (DGP) Anjani Kumar for violation of the model code of conduct amid the counting of votes, sources said.
They said the poll panel under Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar took the stern action as the DGP, along with two senior police officers, met Anumula Revanth Reddy, the state Congress president and a candidate, with a bouquet of flowers at his residence in Hyderabad.
The meeting came as vote counting trends showed that the Congress was set to oust the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) from power in Telangana.
In the meeting, the DGP was accompanied by state police nodal officer Sanjay Kumar Jain and nodal officer (expenditure) Mahesh M Bhagwat.
The DGP opting to meet a contesting candidate out of the total of 2,290 and the star campaigner of one political party out of 16 political parties in the fray was a clear indication of mala fide intention of seeking favour, the sources said.
The next senior-most eligible police officer of the state will be immediately given the charge of the Director General of Police, Telangana, the Election Commission ordered.
The sources said the EC cracked the whip as the DGP's action was a clear violation of the poll code and relevant conduct rules and sent out a wrong message to junior officers.
A poll panel functionary pointed out that this was one of the stern actions the poll panel under Kumar took in the recent round of assembly polls.
As the head of the police, the DGP is expected to lead the entire police services of the state by setting an example by his personal impartial conduct, the sources pointed out.
Any misconduct on the part of the DGP not only sets a wrong precedent but sends incorrect signals to the field formations who are still in the process of conduct of elections, they said.
The Election Commission has also sought explanation from state police nodal officer Sanjay Kumar Jain and nodal officer (expenditure) Mahesh M Bhagwat about the circumstances under which they met Revanth Reddy.
The Congress was set to oust the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) from power in Telangana, assembly poll results and trends showed.
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