In a letter to the Election Commission of India, former Government of India Secretary, EAS Sarma asked the ECI to act against AP chief minister Chandrababu Naidu for his inappropriate references to Andhra Pradesh chief secretary, L.V. Subramanyam. In his letter, Sarma wrote, "please recall the decision taken by the Commission a few days ago to replace Shri A C Punetha by Shri L V Subramanyam as the Chief Secretary of Govt of Andhra Pradesh on the ground that Shri Punetha had failed to consult the Commission on the ill-advised decision taken by Shri Chandrababu Naidu, the AP Chief Minister to preclude the State's Intelligence wing from the Commission's purview when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into force. Shri Punetha, instead of rendering an appropriate advice to the Chief Minister in the matter, issued multiple orders that were not in consonance with the Commission's directions and even became a tacit party to the State filing a case against the Commission, which was eventually disallowed."
In this context Chandrababu Naidu made comments that had the indirect effect of defaming Shri L V Subramanyam calling him a co-accused and covert agent and intimidating all those civil servants acting under the oversight of the commission when MCC is in force. His letter added that the comments made by Chandrababu Naidu, are derogatory, if correct and detrimental to the authority of the Election Commission of India. They amount to hurting the morale of the civil servants at all levels working as a part of the election establishment. "Such comments tend to belittle the democratic traditions of the country and demean the authority of the Commission which is acting in pursuance of the authority conferred on it by Article 324 of the Constitution.
"Moreover, what Shri Chandrababu Naidu had reportedly stated effectively meant defiance of the Commission's authority and even causing defamation of the Commission itself. If ECI acquiesces in this, political leaders and political parties, unwilling to appreciate the legitimate role of the Commission, would similarly defy the Commission's authority again and again and, in the process, hurt the interests of all such civil servants acting at the behest of the Commission during the elections. Also, there is the possibility that persons like Shri Naidu would even victimise the civil servants who prefer to obey the orders of the Commission during the elections, rather than obeying his orders." The former bureaucrat's letter sought action against Chandrababu Naidu under the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act and the Indian Penal Code. It said that it would serve as an imperative deterrent measure.