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Not so complex task

Highlights

KCR is invincible in the party and the government. Honeymoon between the government and people still remains. Opposition is bewildered by his ‘Operation Akarsh.’ All this makes cabinet expansion a facile exercise for him

KCR is invincible in the party and the government. Honeymoon between the government and people still remains. Opposition is bewildered by his ‘Operation Akarsh.’ All this makes cabinet expansion a facile exercise for him

In parliamentary democracy, Cabinet expansion is associated with political rumblings. The excluded becomes disgruntled. The disgruntled turn to dissident camp if political situation is ripe for them. But, any such political fallout will not be imminent if the Chief Minister is strong. Even the Congress Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy could dexterously tide over political imbroglio after a Cabinet reshuffle. Now, K Chandrashekar Rao is likely to expand the Cabinet rather than reshuffle it.

There was speculation over dropping of a couple of ministers. Even names were doing rounds in political circles. Naini Narasimha Reddy and Jogi Ramanna were facing the threat of being sacked. But, such speculation is laid to rest, though none can completely rule out surprises in politics, that too when the Chief Minister is in a formidable position. But, KCR is unlikely to sack Ministers. Most probably, there may be reshuffle of portfolios. This may not leave any major disappointment. In case KCR decides to reshuffle portfolios, Naini may be stripped of Home which may be allotted to Tummala Nageswara Rao.

The veteran trade union leader will not create any irritants even if KCR effects such a change. The position of KCR is invincible in the party and the government. Despite facing personal and political revolt during the movement, KCR emerged not only victorious in the polls but unassailable within the party. Despite having a clear majority, he chose to rope in a large number of legislators from other parties to consolidate his position within the party and the legislature. Given the strength of TRS now in the state Assembly, no legislator can do anything even if his or her political aspiration is unfulfilled.

This political reality makes the Cabinet expansion not so complex an exercise for KCR. The only aspect is how to balance between caste, district, seniority, loyalty and merit. He enjoys personal intimacy with every TRS leader giving him greater comfort in choosing his ministerial colleagues. He also enjoys the reputation for satisfying loyalists in one way or the other. The opposition is fragmented. The Congress and the TDP are bewildered by KCR’s ‘Operation Akarsh,’ making them incapacitated to pose any serious challenge. The Cabinet expansion can disappoint some aspirants. But, the opposition is in no mood to capitalise on such discontent. Elections are not round the corner. The government enjoys more than comfortable majority.

The honeymoon between the government and people still remains, though people started questioning the government. All this also makes the cabinet expansion a facile exercise for KCR. Meanwhile, KCR has already invented new formula to satisfy probables. The revival of institution of Parliamentary Secretaries is one such prominent political innovation. The constitutionally mandated limits of the size of the Cabinet makes politicians to find ‘creative’ solutions to bypass it. Of course, politics is the art of the impossible.

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