VIJAYAWADA: The much-talked-about Cabinet expansion is all set to take place on November 11 as Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is learnt to have decided to give representation to minorities and STs in the Council of Ministers.
Besides expansion, reliable sources said there is possibility of changing portfolios of the some of the ministers and the all-important medical and health department, which is being handled by Naidu, will get a new minister. Medical and health portfolio was earlier held by BJP MLA Kamineni Srinivas, but it fell vacant after the BJP pulled out of the government after the TDP snapped ties with the NDA.
According to indications from official circles, senior TDP leader and chairperson of the AP Legislative Council NMD Farooq and Kidari Sravan, son of Araku former MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao who was gunned down by Maoists in September, are going to be inducted into the State Cabinet.
Sources said Farooq would be given the Minority Welfare department, which is currently with the Chief Minister, and Sravan will be given the Tribal Welfare after taking away the responsibility from Social Welfare Minister Nakka Anand Babu.
Though Sravan is not a member of either the Assembly or Council, the TDP is of the view that as the election schedule is set to be released in some months, the necessity to elect him within six months will not arise and he will be fielded as the party candidate from Araku constituency in the next elections.
It is learnt that communication to this effect has already been sent to Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad and Governor ESL Narasimhan would arrive in Vijayawada for administering oath to the new ministers during a programme to be held in the Grievance Hall near the residence of Chief Minister in Undavalli at 11.45 am on Sunday.
In fact, the TDP had no representation from minorities in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Later, MLAs such as Chand Basha and Jaleel Khan, who won as YSRC candidates, joined the TDP. However, Naidu is said to have opted the MLC for the post as Farooq is a senior leader and held Cabinet post in the past.
After snapping ties with the BJP, Naidu, keen on getting the credential of minorities, had announced to induct a minority leader into the State Cabinet. Though the name of party MLC Shariff Mohammad did rounds for some days, Naidu opted for Farooq, sources said.The Cabinet can have a maximum of 26 members, including Naidu.
However, following the resignation of two BJP ministers (Medical and Health and Endowment) after strained relations between TDP and BJP, the CM got the chance to fill the two vacancies. Sources said keeping in view the importance of Medical and Health department, Naidu will handover the responsibility to some other minister.
Kidari followers take out rally
Vizag: Followers of slain MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao on Friday were on cloud nine following reports that his son Kidari Sravan will be inducted into state Cabinet. They burst firecrackers and distributed sweets besides taking out a rally at Paderu. They said it would be a morale booster to those striving for uplift of tribals.