NEW DELHI: An MLA of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi has been stripped of his citizenship by the Union Home Ministry after it was found that he also held a German passport.
Ramesh Chennamaneni, TRS MLA from Vemulawada in Karimnagar district of Telangana, had allegedly obtained Indian citizenship by submitting "fake documents" and was elected thrice to assembly, including in a by-election.
The citizenship of Mr Chennamaneni was cancelled after a court-directed investigation found that he was a German national, a home ministry official said.
The investigation was ordered after a political rival 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.
During the investigation, it was found that the MLA was also holding Germany's citizenship and never stayed in India for more than 12 months as required for a foreign national in the Foreigners Act, the official said.
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 quashed his election. Mr Chennamaneni then approached the Supreme Court and obtained a stay.
While the stay order was in operation, he contested the 2014 assembly election on a TRS ticket from Telangana and won again. The rival political candidate then moved the Supreme Court seeking vacation of the stay order.
The Supreme Court then asked the Union home ministry to file a report on the issue. After the investigation, the ministry submitted its report confirming that he did have German citizenship and subsequently cancelled his Indian citizenship.
There is no provision for dual citizenship in India. As per the Representation of the People Act, no person who is not an Indian citizen is eligible to contest or vote in any election.
Despite repeated attempts, Mr Chennamaneni could not be contacted for his reaction on the government decision cancelling his Indian citizenship.