Guv said no; yr later, 4 Andhra Congmen get info body posts

FP

Four local Congress leaders were appointed information commissioners by the Andhra Pradesh government Wednesday, a year after their names had been rejected by Governor E S L Narasimhan following objections from the Telugu Desam Party.

The opposition TDP and activists have accused the Kiran Kumar Reddy government of making the appointments clandestinely and filling the transparency panel with Congress stooges.

Narasimhan cleared the appointments of Vijaya Nirmala, Tantiya Kumari, Varrey Venkateshwarulu and Imtiyaz Ahmed after the government re-submitted their names last week, sources said.

Nirmala was a Congress activist who joined the Praja Rajyam Party and contested from Nuziveedu in Krishna district in the 2009 assembly elections. She rejoined the Congress after the PRP merged with it. Nirmala runs an educational institute in Vijayawada.

Tantiya Kumari is a Congress member of the zilla parishad territorial constituency (ZPTC) of Krishna district. Both Nirmala and Kumari were backed by K Chiranjeevi, now the union tourism minister .

When the governor rejected their appointments in February last year, it was seen as a setback for Chiranjeevi. However, after Chiranjeevi merged his PRP with the Congress and was made a union minister, the appointment of his candidates was seen as a certainty.

Venkateshwarulu is a powerful Youth Congress leader in Nalgonda, and is a member of the PCC. He is known as a favourite of Reddy and APCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana. He has been selected under the category of social work.

Ahmed is a former Telugu Desam Party worker who was once close to Chandrababu Naidu. Naidu had given him a ticket to contest against Reddy from Pileru in the 2009 elections. Reddy won and later convinced Ahmed to join the Congress. The CM is learnt to have rewarded him with the commissioner's post.

After the governor rejected the four names last year, the government sat over the appointments. On February 1, Reddy, Deputy CM Damodar Rajanarasimha and others met the governor and submitted the file again with the same list. Naidu, who was informed about the meeting at the last minute, could not attend the meeting as he was traveling and therefore could not object.

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