PRP MLAs' cabinet berths to upset caste equation

The new ministers\' induction would take the number of ministers from the Kapu community to nine.

Published: 10th January 2012 03:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:12 PM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: Induction of two PRP legislators into Kiran Kumar Reddy Cabinet after Sankranti might create more problems that it might solve.

As the two legislatorsGanta Srinivasa Rao and C Ramachandraiahto be included are from Kapu community, the number of Kapu ministers in the cabinet will go up to nine.

At present, there are seven Kapus in the Cabinet. They include transport minister and PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana (he is a Turpu Kapu and BC, but is considered a Kapu leader).Then there are Kanna Lakshminarayana (housing), Thota Narasimham (stamps registration), Vatti Vasant Kumar (tourism) and Pithani Satyanarayana (social welfare). Pithani belongs to Setti Balija community which is considered part of Kapus. From Telangana, there two Munnuru Kapu ministers: Danam Nagender (labour) and Ponnala Lakshmaiah (information technology).

The 'overpopulation' of Kapus in the Cabinet is making nonKapu MLAs from coastal districts raise voice saying if PRP's Kapu legislators are to be inducted, two existing Kapu ministers from the Cabinet be dropped. This is the reason why chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is understood to want to go for a full Cabinet expansion rather than just include PRP legislators.The chief minister is also taking into consideration possible dissent among Telangana MLAs if Cabinet expansion is limited to inclusion of PRP legislators because there is a need for filling two vacancies caused by the resignation of Telangana ministers Komatireddy Venkata Reddy and Jupalli Krishna Rao.

The chief minister, after a great deal of persuasion, made Telangaana MLAs fall in line and if the two vacancies go unfilled, there is a possibility that they create trouble for the government which it can ill-afford at this point of time.

This apart, the Cabinet would have more number of ministers from the Seemadhra region and less from Telangana, which may give handle to pro-Telangana leaders, particularly those from the TRS, to attack Congress.

Chiranjeevi, a Kapu leader, is already playing an important role in the Congress and has been included in the Congress Coordination Committee and wants the two Kapu legislators in the Cabinet.

PRP leaders feel that there is nothing wrong if the number of Kapus in the Cabinet goes up. It is a known fact that Reddys have moved closer to YS Jagan Mohan Reddy though that community has an overwhelming representation in the Cabinet. “As on date, there are 12 Reddys, including the chief minister, in the Cabinet. It is high time the party thought of getting closer to Kapus by giving them enough representation in the Cabinet,” one PRP leader argued.

But the chief minister’s camp believes that if the number of Kapus goes up in the Cabinet, it will embolden Botcha Satyanarayana to become more aggressive. Already, he is working shoulder- to-shoulder with Chiranjeevi.

According to Kiran supporters, he wants Botcha out of the Cabinet on the ground that one cannot be allowed to have two posts and in fact sought permission for a reshuffle. It remains to be seen if the party would allow him that kind of freedom.

Meanwhile, Kapu ministers in the cabinet do not foresee any problem even if the number goes up. “We cannot help if the Kapu number goes up in the Cabinet.

Chiranjeevi has been given the freedom and he is nominating two legislators of whom only one is a Kapu and the other is an Eediga Balija. Strictly speaking, there are only three Kapus in the Cabinet and the others are BCs in their respective areas,’’ one Kapu minister said in an attempt to play down the argument that the number of Kapus in the Cabinet is going up.


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