Bhopal: The collector and superintendent of police of Damoh, where the BJP lost a bypoll recently, were among several bureaucrats transferred in Madhya Pradesh, prompting the opposition Congress to call it 'surprising and shocking' on Saturday.
In a bypoll held on April 17, the result of which was declared on May 2, Congress' Ajay Tandon defeated the BJP's Rahul Lodhi by a margin of over 17,000 votes.
In an order issued by the MP General Administration and Home departments on Friday, Damoh collector Tarun Rathi was replaced first by Jabalpur additional collector Anup Kumar Singh, and then finally by Indore Municipal Corporation additional commissioner SK Chaitanya.
Damoh SP Hemant Chauhan was replaced by DR Teniwar, the order further said, without citing any reason for the exercise.
It said Rathi and Chauhan were transferred as deputy secretary in the state government and assistant inspector general of police at Bhopal headquarters respectively.
MP Congress chief Kamal Nath said the transfer of the two officials by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government raised the question whether the "responsibility to pull off a win in Damoh bypoll was entrusted to the collector and SP there".
He further asked if the collector and SP were being punished for conducting a free and fair election.
"It seems clear the BJP wanted to win the election by misusing the administration, and after failing in this nefarious intention, now the collector and SP have been removed to create panic among the administrative officials," Nath said.
MP BJP chief spokesperson Deepak Vijayavargiya, however, said the transfers were an "administrative exercise" and "nothing should be read into it".
Other transfers as per the GAD order included Ratlam Collector Gopal Chandra Dad being replaced by Guna collector Kuman Purshottam, whose place was taken by Balaghat additional collector Frank Noble.