68 days after the Telangana Rashtra Samiti was elected as Telangana’s second government, the state expanded its cabinet, with 10 ministers being sworn in on Tuesday. Notable names such as KT Rama Rao (who held multiple portfolios in the previous cabinet) and former Irrigation minister T Harish Rao are missing.
While there were 16 ministers during the TRS government’s first tenure, the cabinet, as of now, has twelve ministers including the CM and the Home Minister. According to TRS sources, the delay in the expansion of the cabinet was due to a bureaucratic reorganisation exercise undertaken by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to club departments and responsibilities under each ministry.
The ministers who have sworn in today in the presence of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan, are A Indrakaran Reddy (Nirmal), Talasani Srinivasa Yadav (Sanathnagar), V Prashanth Reddy (Balkonda), Ch Malla Reddy (Medchal), G Jagadish Reddy (Suryapet), S Niranjan Reddy (Wanaparthy), V Srinivasa Goud (Mahabubnagar), Eatela Rajender (Huzurabad), Errabelli Dayakar Rao (Palakurthi) and Koppula Eshwar (Dharmapuri).
The ministers are expected to be allotted their portfolios soon. One of the key portfolios that need to be assigned is that of the Finance Ministry, as the state budget is set to take place on February 22.
Ministers in the first term of the KCR-led government who were given cabinet berths in the second term are Etela Rajender, T Srinivasa Yadav, G Jagadish Reddy and A Indrakaran Reddy.
Despite receiving flak, the Telangana cabinet does not have any women minister as part of its second government.
Prominent former ministers who did not make it to this cabinet in the second term are KT Rama Rao, T Harish Rao, K Srihari, N Narasimha Reddy, C Laxma Reddy, Jogu Ramanna and T Padma Rao.
It is speculated that the cabinet will expand post-Lok Sabha elections expected to take place in March or April this year. As of now, both of KCR’s trusted associates — KTR and Harish Rao — have been tasked with winning 16 out of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana. Following the Assembly elections, the CM will take a take a call on either inducting them into the cabinet or give them a role to play at the national level. KCR is set to play an active role in the formation of the Federal Front; a consortium of regional parties in Parliament.
The cabinet formation comes just three days before the Legislative Assembly vote on the state budget, which is expected to take place on February 22.
KCR was sworn-in on December 13 at Raj Bhavan along with Mohammad Mahmood Ali as his Home minister.