The Union Finance Ministry has reportedly concluded that Chennamaneni Ramesh, sitting legislator from Vemulavada in Telangana’s Karimnagar district, is not an Indian citizen. He holds German citizenship and India does not have a dual citizenship facility. Ramesh is the nephew of Maharashtra Governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao.
Ramesh won from Vemulavada Assembly constituency. His political opponent Adi Srinivas raised objection over his citizenship. Ramesh obtained German citizenship in 1993. He was teaching in a university there and later got into some business. He also married a German woman.
He came to India around 2008, reportedly with political and business interests. He applied in 2008 for citizenship. As per section 5 (1) (f) of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955, a person who had foregone the citizenship, can apply for it after staying for one year in the country. Ramesh applied under this provision.
But Adi Srinivas proved that Ramesh had stayed only 96 days in India during the period. The High Court in 2013 upheld Srinivas’ argument. But Ramesh approached the Union Home Ministry seeking constitution of a three-member committee as per the rule to decide on his citizenship. The committee was constituted. With the process getting delayed, Adi Srinivas approached the Supreme Court seeking declaration of Ramesh as not an Indian citizen.
The Supreme Court in August 2016 gave three months’ time to the Home Ministry to decide the matter. “However, after lapse of six months, I moved the Supreme Court, which on August 28 directed the Home Ministry to settle the matter within six weeks. Today, I learned that the MLA received the shocking communique from the Home Ministry,” Srinivas told Mirror.
“I have missed the chance to be the legislator for two terms in 2009 and 2014. I will appeal to the court to declare me as the MLA, as I have polled the second biggest majority in both the elections,” Adi Srinivas told Mirror.
The order comes as a jolt to the TRS government. TRS had won 12 out of 13 constituencies in Karimnagar district in the 2014 elections. Many questioned nominating Chennamaneni Ramesh as party candidate for Vemulavada constituency, despite his facing questions over his citizenship.
Ramesh sent an open letter to his followers claiming that people who could not face him politically had raised questions of his citizenship. “I am going to make use of the opportunity to seek a review of the first order of the Home Ministry. I will continue to serve my motherland,” he declared.
Chennamaneni is said to have indicated to his associates that he would file an appeal before the Joint Secretary of Home Ministry seeking review of the decision.