Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao today inducted 10 Ministers into his team, the first Cabinet expansion after he took over the reins of the State administration for a second consecutive term in December. With today’s expansion, the strength of the Cabinet has gone up to 12 including the Chief Minister. For more than two months, KCR cabinet remained with only one minister.
Governor E S L Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new Ministers at a simple ceremony on the lawns of Raj Bhavan with Chandrashekhar Rao, Home Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali, MPs, MLAs, MLCs, Chief Secretary S K Joshi and other top officials in attendance. The swearing-in ceremony started at 11.30.
Among those inducted into the Cabinet are four former Ministers – Etela Rajender, G Jagadish Reddy, A Indrakaran Reddy and Talasani Srinivas Yadav. The new faces in the 12-member Cabinet are Vemula Prashanth Reddy, Koppula Eashwar, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, S Niranjan Reddy, V Srinivas Goud and Ch Malla Reddy.
Notably, KCR’s nephew and former irrigation minister T Harish Rao was left out of the cabinet. He is seen as a competitor to KCR’s son K T Rama Rao, who was also left out of the cabinet, as he was made as Working President of TRS and is being projected as political successor of KCR>
Following his earlier cabinet tradition during his first term as Chief Minister, no women and no ST representative given place in the cabinet. The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had swept the December 7 polls, winning 88 of the 119 seats in the State Assembly. Chandrashekhar Rao and Mahmood Ali were sworn in by the Governor a day after the results were announced on December 12.
Subsequently, former Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy was elected the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly during the first session of the new House. A short four-day session of the State Assembly is scheduled to begin on February 22 when the government will go in for a vote-on-account budget in view of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held in April-May.
The Chief Minister is likely to go in for a full-fledged Cabinet expansion after the Parliament election. The strength of the Cabinet cannot exceed 18, which is 15 per cent of the strength of the State Assembly, as mandated by the Constitution.