In what can be called a commendable decision taken by the Modi government, the Ministry of Home Affairs has revoked the Indian citizenship of a Telangana lawmaker. The Ministry took the step against TRS MLA Ramesh Chennamaneni for allegedly concealing crucial facts and obtaining citizenship by fraud.
The MHA in a fresh order on Wednesday said, “It is not conducive to the public good that Dr Ramesh Chennamaneni continues to be a citizen of Indiaunder Section 10 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 decides that Dr Ramesh Chennamaneni ceases to be a Citizen of India.”
According to the Modi government, the MLA had German citizenship and he did not fulfil the criteria for seeking Indian citizenship in 2009.
The MHA order said, “His misrepresentation/concealment of fact misled the government of India in making its decision initially. Had he revealed the fact that he had not resided in India for one year before making the application, the competent authority in this ministry would not have granted citizenship to him.”
Following the move, Chennamaneni has said that he would approach the high court for relief. It may be mentioned that Chennamaneni was re-elected to Telangana Assembly from the Vemulawada constituency last year.
Lashing out at him, the ministry order further said that as a public representative, Chennamaneni has a greater responsibility and needs to be fair in making submissions. “His conduct shall stand as an example to the people whom he represents,” the order said adding that as a member of the Legislative Assembly, he is part of the august body which takes decisions affecting the fate of millions of citizens.
Giving a clear message the Home Ministry said that if such action was not taken against the Telangana MLA, it would become a precedent and in future, many more such persons may obtain Indian citizenship by concealing crucial facts. The move by the MHA is a stern reminder to all who employ dubious tactics and fraud to mislead the government and gain Indian citizenship.
It may be reminded that the government recently revoked Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card of New York-based author and journalist- Aatish Ali Taseer, for not “complying with basic requirement and hiding information about his father’s Pakistani origin”, which was essential for its renewal.
According to MHA spokesperson Vasudha Gupta, Taseer hid his father’s Pakistani identity while submitting his application. He was given the opportunity to reply to MHA’s objection but he failed to ‘dispute the notice’. “Thus, Aatish Ali Taseer becomes ineligible to hold an OCI card as per the Citizenship Act, 1955. He has clearly not complied with very basic requirements and hidden information,” tweeted Gupta.
Mr. Taseer was given the opportunity to submit his reply/objections regarding his PIO/OCI cards, but he failed to dispute the notice.
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) November 7, 2019
In April this year, the MHA had sent notice to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi regarding his citizenship. The MHA sent the notice following a complaint filed by senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy regarding Rahul’s citizenship.