KCR begins 2nd innings in right earnest

KCR begins 2nd innings in right earnest

As a bevy of TRS leaders and others watched, K Chandrashekar Rao took oath as chief minister of Telangana state for a second term at the auspicious hour of 125 pm on Thursday at Raj Bhavan here

Hyderabad: As a bevy of TRS leaders and others watched, K Chandrashekar Rao took oath as chief minister of Telangana state for a second term at the auspicious hour of 1.25 pm on Thursday at Raj Bhavan here.

Clad in immaculate white, he took oath in Telugu as Governor ESL Narasimhan administered it to him. Along with him, Mohammad Mahmood Ali was sworn in as a minister in Urdu. He was allotted Home portfolio later in the night.

All the TRS leaders and former ministers and the newly-elected MLAs attended KCR’s swearing-in ceremony and congratulated the CM after the event. KCR’s wife Shobha Rao, son KT Rama Rao and daughter Kavitha along with their family members were present on the occasion. Senior leader T Harish Rao and Rajya Sabha MP J Santhosh Kumar’s families also attended.

Former Speakers KR Suresh Reddy (who recently joined TRS) and S Madhusudhana Chary who lost the just-concluded assembly elections were present. According to sources, the full-fledged cabinet will be in place by December 18. After taking oath as Chief Minister, KCR hastened process to shortlist the MLAs names to be inducted into his new cabinet.
Caste equations, district-wise representation and loyalty to the party were being taken into consideration in the finalisation of the names of ministers in the KCR cabinet.

BCs are likely to get big number of ministerial berths in the new cabinet. In the previous government, six cabinet berths were given to Reddys, BCs 4, Velamas 3 and Kamma, Muslim, SC and ST were given one each. This time, the cast composition in the KCR cabinet is likely to be modified.

Before December 18, the chief minister will induct all ministers in his cabinet. Rao is likely to give second term for most of the ministers and the new faces would be accommodated in the places of the ministers who lost the elections.
According to sources, the chief minister is likely to fill up all the 16 positions in the expansion exercise. Among the old ones, E Rajender, KT Rama Rao, T Harish Rao, Kadiyam Srihari, T Padma Rao Goud, P Srinivas Reddy, Jogu Ramanna and G Jagadish Reddy, Srinivas Yadav and A Indrakaran Reddy are sure to get second term as ministers.

Sources said that the portfolios may also be the same for some of the ministers. Since the government’s priority is to complete irrigation projects, Harish Rao would be continued with his portfolio of Irrigation and also the Legislative Affairs. Similarly, the IT Minister K T Rama Rao may also retain his portfolio. He may get back his Panchayat Raj portfolio which he shed for industries portforlio in the last government. He will have Panchayat Raj portfolio since the TRS would have to face panchayat elections soon.

Other important portfolios of Agriculture, Power are likely to be retained by ministers Pocharam Srinivas Reddy and G Jagadish Reddy respectively. Chief minister calls Srinivas as ‘Lakshmi Putrudu’ and since agriculture is second-most priority issue, he would be retained. The power sector also assumes importance with various power projects under construction and Jagadish Reddy would be retained for this post. Deputy Chief Minister K Srihari may also be continued with the Education department and Jogu Ramanna for Forest. The caste equations would work in favour of these ministers.

The chief minister is likely to continue Minister T Padma Rao Goud as he was the lone torch-bearer for the party in the city right from the Telangana agitation. His clean image in a department like Excise might help him for the second term as minister. Sources said that this time around there may be change in the portfolio.Among the new faces, the names of S Niranjan Reddy, K Eshwar, B Suman, Ch Malla Reddy, P Ajay Kumar, D Nagender’s are doing the rounds. Sources said that Niranjan Reddy was sure to get a berth in the cabinet. Koppula Eshwar’s name is also doing rounds as a prospective minister. He served as the Chief Whip in the last government. Suman is also said to be Chandrashekar Rao’s choice and may get cabinet berth.

It is said that Ajay Kumar may fill in the place of T Nageswara Rao as he hails from the same community. Since Danam Nagender had served as minister earlier, the chief minister may consider his name. If Nagender is accommodated there would be four ministers from Hyderabad alone (Mahmood Ali, Padma Rao, Srinivas Yadav and Nagender). Sources said that there may be surprises like Aroori Ramesh from Wardhannapet, Ch Malla Reddy and others. Woman MLA Padma Devender Reddy may be elevated as speaker going by her experience as deputy speaker last time.

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