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KCR to expand cabinet on Feb 19

KCR to expand cabinet on Feb 19
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Two months after winning the Assembly polls, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to expand his cabinet on February 19

Hyderabad: Two months after winning the Assembly polls, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to expand his cabinet on February 19.

The Chief Minister, who strongly believes in astrology, has fixed auspicious time as 11.30 am for swearing-in ceremony of new ministers. Tuesday happens to be ‘Magha Sudha Pournami’, and is a good day to take up new activities.

KCR called on Governor ESL Narasimhan in Raj Bhavan on Friday and conveyed the timings. He also ordered the officials concerned to make necessary arrangements for the swearing of new ministers. At present, the Telangana cabinet, besides the Chief Minister, has only one minister, ie, Home Minister Mohd Mahmood Ali. According to sources, 8-10 members may be inducted into the cabinet. As per the guidelines, the Telangana cabinet can have a total of 18 ministers.

The Chief Minister is said to have done a lot of brainstorming before finalising the list of the new ministers. It may be mentioned here that KCR wants to merge all the related departments into a single portfolio for better governance and coordination.

He is also said to have worked on giving district-wise representation to various communities. In the previous cabinet, Reddys were given top priority by allotting 6 ministerial berths. This time, the number of BCs is likely to be more.

In the first term of KCR, there was a criticism that he had not included any woman in the cabinet. Hence this time, it is said that he would be accommodating them in the new cabinet. Since the Lok Sabha elections are round the corner and as he is likely to send some senior leaders to Parliament, there would be another expansion after the Lok Sabha elections.

Speculations are rife that the cabinet will be a mix of junior and senior leaders. There would be a good number of new faces as well. The names of seniors that are making rounds are that of Kadiyam Srihari, K Eashwar, S Niranjan Reddy, Jogu Ramanna, Talasani Srinivasa Yadav, Eatala Rajendar, Padma Devendar Reddy, G Sukhendar Reddy and E Dayakar Rao. P Ajay and Balka Suman, close aides of KTR, are said to be among the new faces.

Will T Harish Rao and KT Rama Rao be included or not is still not clear. In all probability, KTR will be kept out of the cabinet since he has been given a major task of managing the Lok Sabha polls. In case Harish Rao is included in the cabinet, he is unlikely to get irrigation this time as sources say that the Chief Minister is keen to keep Irrigation, Finance and Welfare departments with him for now. This means that KCR himself will present the budget.

G Sukhendar Reddy, in all probability, may get Agriculture portfolio which was earlier held by present Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy. Reddy is at present holding the post of Chairman of Telangana Rythu Samanwaya Samithi in the rank of state cabinet minister.

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