Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is all set to expand his cabinet on Monday with the swearing-in ceremony for his ministers to be held at Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad by Governor E S L Narasimhan. Known to be deeply superstitious, KCR has chosen an ‘auspicious day’ for the ceremony.
This will be the first cabinet expansion since KCR took oath as the Chief Minister for the second term on December 13, following the Telangana Rashtra Samithi‘s (TRS) landslide victory in the Assembly elections held on December 7, 2018.
For the last two months, the state only had one Minister, Mahmood Ali, who was allotted the Home portfolio and was sworn in with KCR.
While several names have been doing the rounds, around 10 ministers are expected to be inducted into the cabinet and it would be a mix of new faces and old ones from the TRS’ previous term. There are also reports doing the rounds that there will be no woman minister, despite the TRS facing flak over failing to induct a woman into the cabinet in its previous term. Reports also suggest that TRS Working President K T Rama Rao, who is KCR's son, and T Harish Rao, the CM's nephew, may not be inducted on Tuesday.
KTR and Harish Rao have presently been tasked with ensuring that the TRS bags 16 out of the 17 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs in the state and TRS sources suggest that Harish could be inducted into the cabinet after the results.
Meanwhile, the Hyderabad traffic police have issued an advisory to commuters, stating “In view of the swearing-in ceremony of Council of Ministers of Telangana at Raj Bhavan on February 19 at 11:30 am, the Raj Bhavan road from Monappa Island (Rajiv Gandhi statue) to V V Statue Junction will witness heavy traffic. The traffic congestion is expected from 10 am to 2 pm.”
“On need basis, traffic will be diverted or stopped at Monappa Island and VV Statue Junction while Punjagutta-Raj Bhavan Quarters Road will be closed for general traffic on both sides during this period. All the citizens are requested to take note of the above and take alternate routes to their destinations and avoid the Raj Bhavan road during the specified timings and cooperate with the traffic police,” it added.
The decision to expand the cabinet also came a day it was announced that Telangana’s vote on budget would take place on February 22. There were questions raised as to who would announce the budget when the finance portfolio did not have a minister.
With IANS inputs