Chandrababu Naidu’s next task: Cabinet formation

In case the yellow party allocates four to five Cabinet berths to JSP and BJP, 20-21 Ministerial posts will be left for the TDP, a senior leader observed.
A delegation led by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders called upon President Droupadi Murmu on Friday
A delegation led by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders called upon President Droupadi Murmu on Friday Photo | Express

VIJAYAWADA: After securing a landslide win in Andhra Pradesh the challenge at TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu’s hand now is the distribution of portfolios among alliance partners — BJP and JSP.

With the TDP-led NDA winning 164 of the total 175 Assembly seats and sweeping eight of the 13 erstwhile districts in the State, formation of the State Cabinet will not be a cakewalk. Of the 164, the TDP on its own won 135 seats. Besides the Chief Minister, as many as 25 MLAs/MLCs could be inducted into the Cabinet. The tally also includes the Speaker.

Additionally, it may be pointed out that the winners belong to an array of politically dominant castes, including Kamma, Kapu and Reddy. Several MLAs were also elected from BC, SC and ST categories. Hence, ensuring caste and regional balances is expected to be a tough task.

In case the yellow party allocates four to five Cabinet berths to JSP and BJP, 20-21 Ministerial posts will be left for the TDP, a senior leader observed. As TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh is likely to be inducted into the Cabinet, the party will have to follow social and regional equations in accommodating remaining leaders, he said.

Predicting that the Cabinet will have both senior leaders and youth, he said as almost all the leaders, who served as ministers between 2014-19, have been elected this time, it is natural for them to aspire Cabinet berths, complicating things further.

According to sources, TDP president K Atchannaidu may not get the Minister post, if his nephew K Ram Mohan Naidu is inducted into the Union Cabinet. In such a scenario, Koona Ravi Kumar will be the front runner for a berth in the State Cabinet from Srikakulam district.

From Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts, K Kala Venkata Rao and Ch Ayyannapatrudu may be given preference, given their seniority. Vangalapudi Anitha and Gummadi Sandhyarani may also be considered.

From the Godavari district, several seniors, including Goruntla Butchaiah Chowdary, Jyothula Nehru and Nimmakayala Chinarajappa, Nimmala Ramanaidu, Pithani Satyanarayana, and K Raghurama Krishna Raju are eyeing for a Cabinet berth.

BC leaders Kollu Ravindra and Kolusu Parthasarathy from Krishna district are expecting ministerial posts. From Guntur and Prakasam districts, Prathipati Pulla Rao, Dhulipalla Narendra Kumar, Nakka Anand Babu, retired IAS officer B Ramanjineyulu, Yerapathaneni Srinvasa Rao, Ugranarasimha Reddy, Dola Bala Veeranjineya Swamy and Gottipati Ravi Kumar are in the race.

From Nellore, P Narayana, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy and Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy are expecting Cabinet berths. With the TDP making significant gains in Rayalaseema region, N Amarnath Reddy and Nallari Kishore Kumar Reddy from Chittoor are aspiring for a cabinet berth.

As the yellow party also forayed into YSRC citadel Kadapa and bagged seven out of the 10 seats, there is a competition among Putta Sudhakar Yadav, N Varadarajulu Reddy and R Madhavi Reddy for a Cabinet berth.

Senior leaders Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy and NMD Farooq, and B Jaya Nageswar Reddy are expecting Minister posts from Kurnool district. It is likely that Farooq might get the berth in Minority quota. From Anantapur district, Payyavula Keshav, Paritala Sunitha, Kalava Srinivasulu are expecting Cabinet berths.

Questions regarding the fate of senior leaders P Ashok Gajapati Raju and Yanamala Ramakrishnudu have also been raised. Daughters of both the said leaders were elected as MLAs, but their elevation to the Cabinet is unlikely as they are first time winners, sources said. They added that the TDP may urge the Central government to give Governor post to the either of the two senior leaders. As Yanamala’s tenure as MLC is not completed yet, he may be considered for the Minister post in the State Cabinet, they added.

Sources said the list of aspirants is a lengthy one as several young guns are also anticipating Minister posts, hoping that the TDP will give equal preference to youth as it did while giving tickets to contest the elections. After winning 151 seats in 2019 elections, YSRC president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced that he would induct ministers to the Cabinet for a period of two-and-a-half years and replace them for the remaining tenure to provide opportunities to more MLAs. Except retaining a few Ministers, he had reshuffled the entire Cabinet.

However, sources in the TDP said that Naidu might not follow Jagan’s idea. They added that it was natural to rejig the Cabinet whenever necessary without keeping a time-frame.

Guv posts for senior leaders

According to sources, TDP may urge the Central government to give Governor post to either Ashok Gajapathi Raju or Yanamala Ramakrishnudu. Yanamala could be considered for the Minister post too

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