In an attempt to woo tribals and Muslims in Andhra Pradesh, two new minister posts will be added to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s cabinet on Sunday. The two new ministers to be inducted into the cabinet are Legislative Council chairperson NMD Farooq and Kidari Sravan, son of Araku MLA Sarveswara Rao, who was killed by Maoists in Vishakapatanam in September.
While Farooq is expected to be given the department of minority affairs, he is also being considered for the medial and health portfolio, presently being held by the AP CM. Sravan, a 28-year-old IIT graduate, is expected to handle the department of tribal affairs.
The Legislative Council chairperson post will now be held by Sharif from West Godavari district. The post of state assembly whip, formerly held by Kidari, will now be held by Chand Basha from Ananthapur (Rayalaseema), who joined TDP from YSRCP.
With the induction of two more ministers, the AP cabinet size will be back to 24 ministers. Earlier, Kamineni Srinivas, the health minister, and P Manikyala Rao, endowments minister, both from the BJP, had resigned from their posts after TDP walked out of their alliance with NDA.
The AP CM has since been holding the health department portfolio, while the endowments department was being handled by the revenue minister KE Krishnamurthy. These posts are to be handed over to other ministers.
The swearing-in ceremony on Sunday will be held at Grievance Hall in Undavalli by the AP and Telangana governor ESL Narasimhan.
The move by Naidu to induct a Muslim and a tribal is being viewed as an attempt to reach out to the communities, which, together, make up 17.2 % of the state’s population.
Earlier, in August, the TDP had organised the “Nara hamara, TDP hamara” programme in Guntur in an attempt woo the Muslim community.