Vijayawada: Senior officials of the AP commercial taxes department (CTD) have gone all out to safeguard the interests of Telugu Desam MLC P. Ashok Babu, a bitter critic of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Ignoring all evidence available on record, the CTD gave a clean chit to Ashok Babu in a Lokayukta case. State GST commissioner Peeyush Kumar even wrote to its registrar to drop further action on a complaint filed against the MLC.
Making things more embarrassing for the ruling dispensation, the CTD on Saturday illegally transferred the complainant in the case, B. Meher Kumar, GST officer and president of the AP Commercial Taxes NGOs Association. Meher approached the Lokayukta against the TD MLC after the YSR Congress took the reins of the government.
“Transfer of the complainant along with four others is a clear case of witch hunting because he questioned the previous inquiry conducted by senior officials into Ashok Babu’s case and approached the Lokayukta against them,” alleged K.R. Suryanarayana, president of the AP Government Employees Association. The transfer of Meher Kumar and others to any district other than Krishna is a clear violation of the Presidential Order, he pointed out.
Inquiries revealed that Ashok Babu had applied for voluntary retirement just before filing his nomination paper as MLC during the Chandrababu Naidu regime. There were allegations about his wrong claims of education qualification and pending criminal cases but the then inquiry officer looked the other way and a gave clean chit to Ashok Babu, facilitating his retirement from service and contesting the Legislative Council elections.
Meher Kumar approached the Lokayukta stating that Ashok Babu had wrongly claimed that he was a graduate and had mentioned in his election affidavit his pending criminal cases while the department had concluded that there were no pending cases. Meher Kumar also produced evidence to establish that Ashok Babu was engaged in political activity including campaigning for the Congress against the BJP in the Karnataka Assembly elections.