Hyderabad: Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Wednesday accepted the resignations submitted by the state Public Service Commission Chairman and three of its members.
Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) Chairman B Janardhan Reddy and the three members R Satyanarayana, Professor Bandi Linga Reddy and Karam Ravinder Reddy submitted their resignations in the backdrop of the controversy over the leak of question papers of recruitment tests conducted by the Commission last year.
The Governor accepting their resignations would pave the way for appointment of a new chairman for the commission by the Congress government that assumed office last month.
“Contrary to any speculation or misinformation, there has been no delay on the part of the Governor in accepting the resignations submitted by the chairman and 3 other members of TSPSC. Upon receiving the resignations, as per Business Rules, the Governor promptly forwarded them to the State Government for circulation of the file, along with the remarks and the opinion of the Learned Advocate General, through the Hon’ble chief minister after ensuring a thorough examination of the matter,” a press note from the Raj Bhavan said.
It further said that the ongoing investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the paper leak row played a “crucial role” in the decision-making process.
“In light of this, the state government reviewed the resignations and obtained the opinion of the learned Advocate General and circulated the file to the Governor through the chief minister for acceptance of all four resignations on January 9,” the release added.
The Raj Bhavan assured people of the state and in particular, the unemployed youth that “every precaution has been taken to safeguard the interests of the unemployed youth” in this process.
“The Hon’ble Governor remains committed to upholding the mandates of the Constitution, principles of justice, transparency, and accountability, and this decision reflects the responsible handling of a matter that involves ongoing investigations,” the statement said.
Road clear for new TSPSC board: State chief minister A Revanth Reddy has repeatedly asserted that the process for conducting recruitment exams will begin once the TSPSC is reconstituted.
As the resignations are accepted now, a new board can be constituted by the state government which will then initiate the process to conduct recruitment exams.
Minutes after his meeting with the newly elected chief minister A Revanth Reddy on December 11, Janardhan Reddy had reached Raj Bhavan and submitted his resignation.
The chief minister was reported to have expressed severe anger over the functioning of TSPSC during Janardhan Reddy’s tenure which was marred by the leakage of question papers and cancellation of exams.
TSPSC paper leak TSPSC question papers relating to Assistant Engineer (AE), Group-I Preliminary, and DAO exams were leaked in March this year. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has arrested about 100 accused, including some employees of TSPSC, in the case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) also investigated the case.
The TSPSC paper leak case had become a major issue with the opposition parties targeting the BRS government over its failure to conduct the exams in a foolproof manner leading to paper leaks and postponement and cancellations of Group-1 Preliminary examination and other tests.
Following the paper leak, the TSPSC cancelled the Group-1 Preliminary examination, which was conducted in October 2022. More than 2.87 lakh candidates had appeared for the exam.
Repeated cancellation of exams: Though the re-examination was conducted in June 2023, some candidates approached the High Court raising doubts over the conduct of the examination including not taking the biometric tests. The High Court canceled the exam again and pulled up TSPSC for failing to conduct the exams properly.
The repeated cancellation and postponement of exams had evoked strong protests from the unemployed youth, who demanded the scrapping of the TSPSC Board.
This is believed to be one of the factors that worked against the BRS in the recent Assembly elections.
The previous BRS government had appointed Janardhan Reddy as TSPSC chairman on May 19, 2021.
A 1996-batch IAS officer, Janardhan Reddy held several key positions in the government including as secretary, of higher education, and the commissioner of GHMC and the HMDA. He took voluntary retirement a few months before his superannuation to take up the job of TSPSC chairman.