AMARAVATI: The TDP circles in Andhra Pradesh are abuzz with speculations of a likely expansion or reshuffle of state council of ministers around mid-January. Speculations are rife that one of the inductees may be Nara Lokesh, son of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. He is likely to be given the Information Technology and Municipal Administration departments.
The exercise may be carried out around Makar Sankranti festival, before the Chief Minister's scheduled trip to Switzerland beginning January 15, or it might happen in the first week of February. At least two MLAs of the lone opposition YSR Congress, who switched sides to the TDP in the last few months, are expected to be given Cabinet berths.
Another YSRC defector is also eyeing a berth under the minorities quota, according to sources. The Muslim community doesn't have a representation in the Cabinet now. The AP Cabinet, formed on June 8, 2014, now has 20 members, including the Chief Minister and two BJP ministers.
At least three slots remained unfilled in the last 31 months. With just half the tenure left, many leaders in the party are anxiously seeking a rejig at least now. According to TDP sources, four incumbent ministers may lose their posts for a variety of reasons.
The name of a Dalit YSRC legislator is also being heard for a likely Cabinet slot. There is no dearth of aspirants within the TDP but the Chief Minister holds the report card of each MLA to decide whom he could pick up, the sources said.