Rama Krishna Sangem
Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy‘s 12 member Cabinet is both balanced and matured. He was sworn in the presence of a large number of people at LB Stadium in Hyderabad at around 1.30 pm on December 7, Thursday. Congress top leadership including Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi witnessed a 30 minute oath taking ceremony as crowds cheered lustifily .
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, Deputy CM DK Shiva Kumar, Himachal Praesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukka and a large group of teams from AICC, MPs from friendly parties of INDIA block and all the 64 Congress MLAs, CPI leaders including their lone MLA Kunamneni Sambasiva Rao and members of families of Telangana martyrs too turned up to see the new team taking over.
After a series of talks and assessments, the high command in consultation with CM Revanth finalized t he Cabinet composition. As we expected Malli Bhatti Vikramarka has been given Deputy CM status while 11 others are inducted into the ministerial team. Khammam and Nalgonda old districts got lion’s share of three members each – Tummala Nageswara Rao, Bhatti and Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy (khammam).
Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Uttam Kumar Reddy are from Nalgonda. CM Revanth and Jupalli Krishna Rao are from Mahabubnagar district. Warangal is represented by two women – Seethakka and Konda Surekha. Sridhar Babu and Ponnam Prabhakar are from Karimnagar district. Damodar Rajanarsimha is from Medak district. Four districts – Adilabad, Nizamabad, Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy are not found representation in the team.
While Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts have no Congress MLAs, the other two are kept aside for now. Sources say, they will be given representation in the expansion which may take place sometime later. Assembly Speaker post goes to Vikarabad MLA Gaddam Prasad. Besides there are five more posts of Cabinet rank – a Deputy speaker, a Chief Whip and four whips in the assembly.
Of the 12 in the Cabinet, four are from Reddy community. They are: CM Revanth, Punguleti, Komatireddy and Uttam Kumar Reddy. Ponnam Prabhakar (Goud) and Surekha (Padma Shali) are BCs while Bhatti (SC- Mala) and Damodar (SC-Madiga). Sridhar Babu is Brahmin, Jupalli Krishna Rao is a Velama community member and Seethakka is an ST from Koya community.
Interestingly there are two women from BC and ST segments. What we gathered is Rahul Gandhi insisted on three women in the cabinet but they had to settle for two. Had Uttam agreed for his wife Padmavathi’s induction at his cost, the female number would have been three. Still there is scope for six more ministers in the Cabinet. They have kept it vacant in ivew of some permutations and combinations from within and outside the party.
Ironically, CM Revanth and Deputy CM Bhatti are less experienced in the new Cabinet. Most of them like Tummala Nageswara with three decades plus ministerial experience are seasoned. Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Uttam Kumar Reddy, Jupalli Krishna Rao, Surekha, Damodara Rajanarsimha and Sridhar Babu have earlier served as ministers in the Congress governments. Revanth joined the Cabinet for the first time.
V Seshadri, IAS heads CMO, B Shivadhar Reddy, IPS, Intelligence chief
CM Revanth has picked V Shehadri, 1999 batch IAS officer as Secretary to his Chief Minister’s Office. He earlier worked in the CMO of KCR and before that in the Prime Minister’s Office for six years. Currently he is in GAD (General Administration Department) of Telangana. By choosing Sheshadri, the CM preferred someone with experience and efficiency in his CMO.
Shivadhar Reddy, 1994 batch IPS officer as Intelligence additional DG holds some importance at this juncture of politics. Congress now enjoys a slender majority of 64 MLAs in an assembly of 119. There are fears of poaching from opposition BRS which has 39 MLAs and has the support of 7 MIM MLAs. Moreover, the coming Lok Sabha elections in April/May require tight monitoring of politics.