HYDERABAD: Not giving in to the demand of Praja Rajyam Party president K Chiranjeevi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today gave Endowments, and Infrastructure-and-Investment portfolios to the two new ministers who joined the cabinet yesterday.
Chiranjeevi had sought the plum portfolios of Energy and Commercial Taxes for C Ramachandraiah and Ganta Srinivasa Rao respectively, but Reddy flatly refused, sources said.
Accordingly, the Chief Minister told Chiranjeevi that Commercial Taxes department, a main revenue-generating department for the government, could not be given to PRP. The Chief Minister himself holds this portfolio. Even the Energy could not be given to PRP, Reddy reportedly said.
The Chief Minister had a meeting over breakfast with the two new ministers where the portfolio issue was discussed as a continuation of the talks he had with Chiranjeevi last night.
As the Chief Minister remained firm, Ganta and Ramachandraiah agreed to take what was offered, sources said.
Endowments has been give to Ramachandraiah while Infrastructure and Investment has been given to Ganta Srinivasa Rao, respectively.
The Infrastructure-and-Investment includes natural gas, airports and ports, and is considered `lucrative'.
Incidentally, Ganta has personal business interests in the port sector.
The portfolios allotted to PRP ministers were earlier with two ministers from Telangana region, who quit over the separate state demand.
Reddy did not make any other changes in the ministry.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA from Kamalapuram in Kadapa district, Veera Siva Reddy, threatened to quit protesting the inclusion of Ramachandraiah, an MLC from the same district, in the cabinet.
Siva Reddy had strongly opposed Ramachandraiah's proposed induction, and had even petitioned the Congress high command on the issue.
The Chief Minister, however, rejected the MLA's resignation, asking him to observe restraint.
Dalit organisations in the state have strongly protested the sacking of Textiles Minister P Shanker Rao from the cabinet and decided to organize agitation programmes across the state, with observance of black day on January 26.