Telangana goes the Andhra way, appoints Anjani Kumar as ‘full additional charge’ DGP

bypassing the UPSC norms, the Telangana government appointed FAC DGP. The current DGP M Mahendra Reddy is set to retire on 31 December.

BySumit Jha

Published Dec 29, 2022 | 7:43 PM Updated Dec 29, 2022 | 7:43 PM

Anjani Kumar new DGP Telangana

Speculation over who would take over from Telangana DGP M Mahendra Reddy, who retires at month-end, was set to rest on Thursday, 29 December, with 1990 batch IPS officer Anjani Kumar being named his successor.

Taking a leaf out of the playbook of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the Telangana government skipped the usual process of seeking approval of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and, instead, gave Anjani Kumar “full additional charge”, or FAC, as DGP.

South First had reported earlier that the Telangana government was likely go the Andhra Pradesh way and appoint an officer with FAC instead of a full-time DGP.

In February, Andhra Pradesh had appointed state intelligence chief KV Rajendranath Reddy after unceremoniously ousting then DGP Gautam Sawang midway through his term. Reddy was given FAC as DGP, leapfrogging over as many as 11 senior officers.

A high-ranking state police officer had told South First that the government has not sent any names to the UPSC, and that the decision on the state’s top cop will be “one man’s call”, a not-so-oblique reference to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao.

Choosing Anjani Kumar

Reliable sources told South First that a discussion on who should succeed Mahendra Reddy took place last week and also involved the names of Ravi Gupta, a 1990 batch IPS officer and principal secretary in the Home Department, and ADGP CV Anand, a 1991 batch officer who is commissioner of police, Hyderabad City.

The choice fell on Anjani Kumar as he has not only worked as ADGP (law and order) when Anurag Sharma was the DGP, but was also police commissioner of Hyderabad City before taking over as DGP at the ACB a year ago.

That apart, the sources said, what worked in Anjani Kumar’s favour was that he enjoys the confidence of powers that be and also maintains close rapport with a few IAS officers and an advisor to the state government.

As Anjani Kumar is due to retire only in January 2026, the state is assured of continuity in the key post of DGP through the Assembly elections due later this year, as well as the parliamentary elections slated for early 2024.

Exactly a year ago, the state government had transferred 30 IPS officers, including Anjani Kumar, CV Anand, Shikha Goel, currently the director of ACB, and AR Srinivas, joint commissioner of police (crime) , among other officers.

Anjani Kumar has been DGP ACB since December 2021. Before that, he was Hyderabad police commissioner from March 2018 to December 2021.

Prior to that, he served as additional DGP (Law and Order) for two years. He also served as additional commissioner of police (Law and Order), Hyderabad City. He was IGP, Warangal Range, and DIG of Nizamabad Range.

The naming of Anjani Kumar has sparked comments from political quarters as he is not a Telangana native. State Congress Chief A Revanth Reddy tweeted out that “In the kingdom of Kalvakuntla… Yesterday the party… Today the administration “Telangana” disappeared. #UdyamaDrohiKCR.”

Other transfers in Telangana

Among other transfers effected on Thursday, Ravi Gupta will take over from Anjani Kumar as GDP ACB. He has also been given FAC as director general (V&E), general administration department.

Dr Jitender, a 1992 batch IPS officer who was the ADGP (law and order), will replace Ravi Gupta as principal secretary, Home Department. He has also been given FAC as director general of prisons and correctional services.

Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat, a 1995 batch IPS officer who was the first and longest-serving commissioner of police, Rachakonda Commissionerate, has been posted as ADGP, CID, in an existing vacancy.

Devendra Singh Chauhan, a 1997 batch IPS officer who was additional commissioner of police (law and order), Hyderabad City, has been posted as commissioner of police, Rachakonda Commissionerate.

Sanjay Kumar Jain, a 1997 batch IPS officer who was ADGP (P&L) has been posted as ADGP (law and order), with FAC as director general, Telangana State Disaster Response and Fire Services.

Avoiding the UPSC

Under normal circumstances, a state government sends names of five DG-rank IPS officers with 30 years of service to the UPSC. The UPSC approves three of the five names. And the state picks one of them as its DGP.

Over the years, the appointment of DGPs has become a tug-of-war between states and the UPSC.

This, despite the fact that the Supreme Court has often reiterated the need for the UPSC’s involvement in the appointment process. But as “police” and “public order” are state subjects, many states insist a DGP’s appointment should exclusively be in the their domain.

The Telangana government appears to have adopted this stance. It remains to be seen how the Centre reacts to this.