Tamilisai Soundararajan
Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan in a file photo.

Tamilisai rejects Telangana govt's nominees for 2 MLC posts

Says Sravan Dasoju and K Satyanarayana do not meet criteria for Legislative Council posts under Governor's quota

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In a major embarrassment to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's (KCR) Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) government, Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has rejected the names of two party leaders, Sravan Dasoju and K Satyanarayana, recommended by the state cabinet as Members of Legislative Council (MLC) under the Governor’s quota. The development took place amid talks about Soundararajan and KCR burying the hatchet and deciding to work together.

There had been tension between the Raj Bhavan and the state government for over two years, with the two more or less boycotting each other. KCR stopped visiting Raj Bhavan and the Governor became persona non-grata in the eyes of the state government. Many a time, the government refused to extend protocol during her visits to districts. Even collectors stopped meeting her.

But, recently, indicating a change of political clime, the Chief Minister visited Raj Bhavan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan. Later, Soundararajan was invited to visit the new secretariat complex even though an invite had not been extended at the time of inauguration of the Rs 1,000 crore engineering marvel.

But, today’s decision by the Governor took the BRS government by surprise.

Two separate letters

Soundararajan wrote the state government two separate letters explaining why, because of their political alignment, Sravan Dasoju and Satyanarayana were ineligible to be recommended as MLCs under the Governor's quota under relevant sections of the Constitution. They were not covered by Article 171 (3) & (5), which empowers the Governor to nominate persons “...having special knowledge or practical experience in Literature and Science, Art, Cooperative movement and Social service", the letters pointed out.

“My earnest request to the Cabinet and the Hon'ble Chief Minister is to avoid such politically aligned persons to fill up nominated posts under article 171(5) of the Constitution of India, defeating its objectives and enactment,” one letter said.

The Telangana Upper House has 40 members including six members to be nominated by the Governor of the state.

In August, the state government recommended the names of Satyanarayana and Sravan Dasoju as MLCs. Incidentally, the two had joined the BRS from the BJP. Satyanarayana was a BJP member of the united Andhra Pradesh Assembly in 1999. He later joined the TRS (now BRS). Dasoju's political career began in Prajarajyam in 2008 in united Andhra Pradesh. Later he joined the TRS during the Telangana movement. But he quit the party to join the Congress in 2015, and later the BJP, in October 2022.

Political activities

According to the Governor’s letter, the profile of Satyanarayana does not fulfill the requirements required under Article 171(5). “The summary indicates his active participation in politics and Corporate Trade Union Activities. His profile summary does not indicate his special knowledge in Literature, Science, Art, Cooperative movement, and Social service, which appears to be from the summary a short tenure, which will not come within the purview of Article 171(5). There is no apparent consideration of the fulfillment of the preconditions required under Article 171(5) of the Constitution of India,” she wrote.

The Governor was also critical of the way the recommendations were made by the government. She pointed out that no report or relevant records, either from Intelligence or other agencies, had been attached as required under Section 8 to 1 I-A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951.

“The bereft of the above, just a summary without any documentation in support thereof showing the fulfillment of the criteria mentioned above, it will be inappropriate for me to consider and nominate K Satyanarayana as a Member of Legislative Council,” the letter said.

The Governor cited the same reason for rejecting the name of Dasoju as well.

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