Telangana Chief Minister K Chadnrasekhar Rao's first cabinet expansion after six and half months of coming into power resulted many disappointments in the ruling party TRS. The induction of six more ministers on Tuesday, brining the total number of ministers to 18, reflects chief minister's firm commitment to reward `defects' ignoring his own loyalists who were with him since a decade in struggle for Telangana statehood.
It will be also distinction of Chandrasekhar Rao probably for the first time in a major state of India that no women is given representation in the cabinet as he opted to have an all-male Cabinet, ignoring women.
The six members inducted are A Indrakaran Reddy, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Tummala Nageswara Rao, C Laxma Reddy, Jupally Krishna Rao and A Chandulal. They were administered oath of office and secrecy by Governor E S L Narasimhan at Raj Bhavan. All the leaders were earlier prominent in eighter TDP or Congress and most of them were not seen in Telangana struggle.
Nageswra Rao, Srinivas Yadav and Chandulal were ministers during pregious TDP governments. Krihsna Rao was minister in Congress government. He had resigned from N Kiran Kumar Reddy cabinet seeking separate statehood for Telangana and joined TRS. Indrakaran Reddy, a former Congress leader, two time MP and three time MLA, had elected to Assembly in the recent elections as BSP member and now `merged' his party along with another MLA with TRS.
Yadav, who won from Sanatnagar segment (in Hyderabad city) in the elections on TDP ticket was Greater Hyderabad TDP President. Only recently he quit the party seeking cabinet berth and joined TRS. He submitted resignation as MLA only before the swearing-in cermony. He said that he would seek re-election and thanked Rao for inducting him into the Cabinet.
The Cabinet expansion is the first since the TRS government assumed office on June two this year. Former Minister Nageswara Rao, who is not a member of either House of the Legislature, had switched loyalty to the TRS recently and was rewarded with a berth.Rumblings of discontent began in the TRS, a day after Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced his intention to induct at least six new faces into his Cabinet, with Koppula Eswar, MLA from Dharmapuri, making his frustration clear at being overlooked. Though almost all the ministers and several MLAs were present, minister aspirants Konda Surekha and Koppula Eswar did not turn up at the event. No opposition MLA and most of MLCs were not seen at Raj Bhavan.
Though Chief Minister did an elaborate exercise to strengthen the party in the segments where it is weak, the first expansion of the Telangana cabinet indicates quite an imbalance in the caste composition which has upset many a people in the party. There is a feeling that there is no proportionate representation.He has been delaying the same for the last three months and naturally this has led to discontent among many party leaders, who have been expecting cabinet bearth since a long.
There are six women legislators in the TRS, including Deputy Speaker Padma Devender Reddy. Chief Minister has reportedly promised some of them nominated posts. Prominent among them is former Congress minister Konda Surekha. She was sure to get cabinet bearth as women member. She was disappointed a lot.Even after expansion, not a single women member was accomidated the cabinet. On the previous day of expansion, when she tried to meet chief minister to concey her coners, she was denied appointment. However, chief minister's nephew and irrigation minister T Harish Rao consoled her promising to make her husband Murali as MLC.
Among all, party senior leader and known as storng loyalist of Chief Minister since a long Koppula Eswar said to be unhappy for his inability to get place in the cabinet. Originally his name was considered as Deputy Chief Minister, as he hails from Scheduled Caste when Rao taken oath as Chief Minister. However, he was denied place in the cabinet at that time.
This time, instead of giving him cabinet bearth chief minister offered him the post of the government chief whip but the latter had bluntly denied the same. He simply had sent an SMS to KCR's PA stating that he was upset. Later on preveious evening of cabinet expansion, Chandrasekhar Rao imself called up Eswar and promised to do him justice and persuaded him to adjust for time being as Government Chief Whip. Earlier, Eswar's followers staged a Rasta roko in Dharmapuri demanding that he be given an appropriate place in the cabinet.
The Cabinet after expansion is dominated by Reddy community followed by Velamas. There are six Reddys and four Velamas and one each from Mudiraj, Munnurkapu, Goud and Yadava community. Reddys constitute about six per cent of the population. Interestingly while the Velmas constitute less than two per cent of the population, they have 22% representation in the cabinet.
Immediately after cabinet expansion, Chief minister convened cabinet meeting and about his priorities and how the newly-inducted ministers should work in that. According to sources, Rao explained to the ministers about his government's priorities like water grid, power, restoration of water tanks, Harita Haaram, developing road connectivity.
Ridiculing the composition of the state cabinet which has a few defectors from the TDP, the BJP has termed it an insult to the people of Telangana and to those who fought for separate statehood. "How can chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao induct MLAs from Telugu Desam Party, whom he had dubbed as Telangana Drohula Party, into his cabinet?" wondered senior BJP leader and former minister Dr. Nagam Janardhan Reddy has asked.
Reddy asked as to whether Chandrasekhar Rao did not find a single suitable leader in his own party. "What forced the CM to extend 'dosti' (friendship) to 'drohis' (betrayers)?" he wanted to know and urged the Assembly speaker to take action against the defectors. Reddy also criticised lack of represenation of Malas and women in the cabinet.