After denying Chennamaneni Ramesh BRS poll ticket, KCR appoints him advisor with Cabinet rank

The Vemulawada MLA was dropped from the list of candidates due to a dispute over his Indian citizenship.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Aug 26, 2023 | 1:40 PMUpdatedAug 26, 2023 | 2:12 PM

Agronomist Chennamaneni Ramesh with KCR. (Facebook)

Telangana Chief Minister and BRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao did not renominate MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh to contest the poll from the Vemulawada Assembly seat. The MLA, however, is beaming.

On Friday, 25 August, the chief minister appointed Ramesh as the advisor to the government on agriculture affairs with Cabinet rank. The appointment is for five years.

While announcing the candidates for 115 of the 119 Assembly seats, KCR said Ramesh was being dropped only because of a dispute over his citizenship.

The chief minister appointed Ramesh as advisor hoping that his rich experience in research in agriculture — one of the priority areas of the government — would benefit the state.

Ramesh holds a Master’s degree in Agriculture from Leipzig, Germany. He earned his PhD in agriculture economics from Humboldt University of Berlin in 1987,  an official statement released late on Friday said.

Also read: BRS in firefighting mode as flames of dissidence rise over tickets

Nipping dissent in the bud

With Ramesh’s appointment, KCR has effectively sealed any possibility of dissent in the BRS in Vemulawada. After KCR had announced the names for the Assembly elections, Ramesh waxed philosophical.

He recalled his father, Ch Rajeswara Rao, who was a leading communist leader, and added that one should be in politics to serve the people and not for any political sinecures.

Ramesh won four consecutive elections to the Assembly since 2009. His uncle, Ch Vidyasagar Rao, was the Governor of Maharashtra between 2014 and 2019. Ramesh, who went to Germany in search of a job, obtained German citizenship in 1993. After returning to India in 2008, he secured Indian citizenship in 2009.

He successfully contested from Vemulawada in 2009 on a TDP ticket. He joined the TRS (now BRS) in 2010 during the height of the Telangana movement and won a by-election from the same constituency. He was re-elected to the assembly in 2014 and 2018 as a BRS candidate.

But Ramesh’s trouble began the same year in which he got Indian citizenship. His political rival Adi Srinivas filed a revision petition with the Ministry of Home Affairs accusing Ramesh of obtaining Indian citizenship by submitting false documents and concealing facts.

Also read: Gadwal BRS MLA Krishna Mohan Reddy disqualified

Citizenship row

He contended that Ramesh had not lived in India for one year before applying for a passport, which was one of the conditions for granting Indian citizenship. It was also pointed out that he had visited to Germany during the period.

His main accusation was that Ramesh had not relinquished his German citizenship and passport.

A committee formed by the Union home minister investigated the allegations and, after nine years in 2017, submitted a report to the ministry that Ramesh had obtained citizenship fraudulently.

Acting on the report, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs cancelled his Indian citizenship in August 2017, which Ramesh challenged in Telangana High Court.

The case is yet to be adjudicated.

The chief minister, after dropping Ramesh as the BRS candidate, brought in another Velama leader, Chalmeda Lakshmi Narasimha Rao. He is the chairman of Chalmeda Ananda Rao Institute of Medical Sciences, Karimnagar. He had fought and lost the Assembly election from Karimnagar in 2014 on a Congress ticket.

He joined the BRS in 2021 in the presence of the party working president KT Rama Rao.

Lakshmi Narasimha Rao said that would lend his shoulder for the development of the constituency. “I have no differences with anyone and I would take everyone along in ensuring development works in my constituency,” he said.