September 7th, 2017
An MLA of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi has been stripped of his citizenship by the Union Home Ministry after it was found that he held a German passport, as per Deccan Chronicle reports.
Ramesh Chennamaneni, TRS MLA from Vemulawada in Karimnagar district of Telangana, had allegedly obtained Indian citizenship by submitting “fake documents”. He was also elected thrice to assembly, including in a by-poll.
A home ministry official reportedly said that a court-directed investigation had found out that he was a German national. The probe was initiated after a political opponent of Chennamaneni first approached the Andhra Pradesh High Court challenging the election of the TRS leader to the assembly saying he was a German passport holder.
The investigation revealed that the MLA was holding Germany’s citizenship and never stayed in India for more than 12 months. This is in contradiction to the requirements of a foreign national in the Foreigners Act.
He was first elected to the assembly of the undivided Andhra Pradesh on a TDP ticket in 2009. Later, he shifted his loyalties to the TRS and resigned his seat and contested and won from the same constituency as a TRS candidate in the 2010 by-election.
In 2013, the Andhra Pradesh High Court negated his election. Chennamaneni then approached the apex court and obtained a stay.
He contested the 2014 assembly election on a TRS ticket from Telangana and won again. This happened while the stay order was in operation. It was then that the political candidate from the rival party moved the Supreme Court seeking vacation of the stay order.
The Union home ministry was directed to file a report on the issue. The department submitted its report confirming that he did have German citizenship and subsequently cancelled his Indian citizenship.
India has no provision for dual citizenship. As per the Representation of the People Act, anyone who is not an Indian citizen is ineligible to contest or vote in any election.