Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao inducted 10 Ministers into his team on Tuesday in 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.
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.
As expected, the Cabinet is a mix of old and experienced guards with half a dozen fresh faces. While Rajender had handled the Finance portfolio in the first government, Jagadish Reddy, Indrakaran Reddy and Srinivas Yadav held Power, Housing and Animal Husbandry portfolios.
Among the new faces, Eashwar was Government whip, Niranjan Reddy vice chairman of the State Planning Board and Prashant Reddy vice chairman of Mission Bhagiratha, the flagship water-grid programme of the TRS government.
The Chief Minister is likely to allocate the portfolios to the new Ministers by the evening.
The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi 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.
Former Minister T Padma Rao Goud is tipped for the deputy speaker’s post.
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.
The Cabinet list:
- K Chandrashekhar Rao – Chief Minister
- Mohammad Mahmood Ali – Home Minister
- Etela Rajender
- A Indrakaran Reddy
- G Jagadish Reddy
- Talasani Srinivas Yadav
- Vemula Prashanth Reddy
- Koppula Eashwar
- Errabelli Dayakar Rao
- CH Malla Reddy
- S Niranjan Reddy
- V Srinivas Goud