The Telangana cabinet will be expanded on Sunday, with Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao likely to induct six ministers. Sources in the TRS told the New Indian Express that the Chief Minister is expected to give his son and TRS working president KT Rama Rao and his nephew and Siddipet MLA Harish Rao portfolios. Both were cabinet ministers during KCR's first term as CM.
The new ministers will be sworn in at 4 pm at a ceremony to be held at Raj Bhavan, as announced by the Chief Minister on Saturday night.
According to a statement from the Chief Minister's Office, the CM has informed the Governor-designate Tamilisai Soundararajan about the cabinet expansion.
Soundararajan will be taking oath as the Governor on Sunday morning. She will succeed ESL Narasimhan, whose last day was on Saturday.
The decision for a cabinet expansion was announced without any prior warning. "Sunday the 8th September 2019 being an auspicious 'Dasami Day', the same day at 4.00 PM the new cabinet ministers will be sworn in, decided the CM," according to the statement by the CMO.
KTR was handling key portfolios of industry, commerce, information technology, mines and geology, public enterprise, NRI affairs, municipal administration and urban development during the TRSâ€™s first term. Harish Rao was the minister for irrigation in the previous cabinet.
After Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won the elections in November last year, KTR was made the working president of the party.
KCR took oath as the chief minister for the second term on December 13. Home Minister Mehmood Ali also took the oath with him. Two months later, KCR expanded his cabinet on February 19 and inducted 10 ministers.
The cabinet can have six more ministers. The CM is likely to distribute major portfolios like finance, irrigation, industry and information technology, which he had initially retained.
He is also likely to induct one or two women in his cabinet. He had come under criticism for having no women representation in his previous cabinet. Sources said TRS may induct Sabitha Indra Reddy, one of the 12 Congress MLAs who defected to the TRS in the last few months. The other names said to be under consideration for minister berth is that of TRS MLA from Khanapur, Rekha Naik and Satyavathi Rathod MLA from Dornakal assembly constituency.
Sabitha was the first woman to hold the key portfolio of home affairs in undivided Andhra Pradesh. She switched loyalties to the TRS in March. The defections from Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and two independents have already taken TRS tally to 103 in the 119-member Assembly.
As there are many aspirants of cabinet berths, KCR on Saturday named two legislators as government chief whips in the Assembly and Council. He also appointed 10 legislators as whips in both the Assembly and Council.
He also announced that all the nominated posts will be filled with incumbents. He is expected to appoint 12 MLAs as the chairpersons of various corporations.
Other names in the fray
Apart from KTR and Harish Rao, sources told the Times of India that G Gutha Sukhender Reddy, Satyavathi Rathod, Danam Nagender, Gangula Karmalakar and Puvvada Ajar Kumar were being considered for ministerial berths.
Senior Leaders such as former assembly speaker S Madhusuhana Chary and minister Jupally Krishna Rao, who faced defeat in the 2018 Assembly polls, have reportedly been assured important posts by KCR.
Posts have also been reportedly been promised for MLC K Srihari and former Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, former deputy speaker Devender Reddy, Palla Rajeshwar Reddy and senior leader Bajireddy Govardhan Reddy, according to the New Indian Express.
"Some senior leaders may be sent to the Rajya Sabha, and others will be appointed as chairpersons of RTC and Rythu Samanvaya Samithi," said the chief minister reported TNIE.
After the swearing-in, the cabinet is expected to meet at Pragati Bhavan later at 7 pm to approve the state budget for 2019-20, according to ToI.
With IANS inputs