Andhra governor approves information commissioners

Hyderabad, Feb 6 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh governor Wednesday gave his approval to the appointment of four information commissioners after the state government sent back the file rejected by him earlier following a row over appointment of people with political background.

A year after Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan returned the file to the government, the latter sent it back, ignoring his objection to the appointments.

With no option left for him, the governor gave his approval to the appointment of former civil judge Imtiaz Ahmed, former zilla parishad member Tantiya Kumari, M. Vijaya Nirmala and V. Venkateswarlu. They were all said to be active in politics.

The government in February 2012 had sent eight names for the appointment as information commissioners. Narasimhan approved four names but rejected four others. He sent the file back to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, advising the government to reconsider the matter.

The governor took the action following public pressure to cancel the appointments and start the selection process afresh.

Non-governmental organisations (NGO) and Right To Information (RTI) activists had alleged that the government violated the spirit of the RTI act by appointing individuals with political background.

Reacting sharply to the government's latest move, the National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI) has threatened to move the high court.

The NGO had earlier requested the governor not to give his assent to the appointment of the four commissioners.

The information commissioners were selected by a panel whch consisted of the chief minister, his deputy Damodar Rajanarasimha and leader of opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief later sent a dissent note. YSR Congress party has alleged that both Congress and TDP are working in tandem for mutual benefit.

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