Andhra Pradesh: 17 new faces in Cabinet, BCs get a lion’s share

No place for several ex-ministers, portfolio allocation may be tough.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for a photograph with Governor S Abdul Nazeer, Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and his Cabinet colleagues after the swearing-in ceremony at Kesarapalli near Gannavaram in Krishna district on Wednesday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for a photograph with Governor S Abdul Nazeer, Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and his Cabinet colleagues after the swearing-in ceremony at Kesarapalli near Gannavaram in Krishna district on Wednesday Photo I Express

VIJAYAWADA : Out of the total 24 ministers, who were sworn in along with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday, 17 are first timers. While eight of the ministers hail from Backward Classes, four each are from Kapu and Kamma, and three from Reddy communities. While two berths were given to SCs, one berth each was given to ST, Muslim minority and Vysya community.

Several of them like TG Bharath, S Savitha and Y Satya Kumar have won the election as an MLA for the first time. But they got the Cabinet berths because of caste equations, regional balance and several other factors, sources said.

“Naidu has taken every measure in the formation of his Cabinet to ensure regional and community balance, besides an equilibrium between seniors and juniors,” a senior TDP leader observed.

In fact, it is a tough task to select 24 among all the 163 (excluding Naidu) tripartite alliance MLAs. Several seniors, who served as ministers in the past, also won the election in the NDA wave. But after a thorough exercise, Naidu has finalised the list taking all factors into consideration to strike a fine balance, the leader added.

Three women, including S Savitha (BC), Gummadi Sandhyarani (ST), and Vangalapudi Anitha (SC), also got berths.

Except for Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Kinjarapu Atchannaidu, Nara Lokesh, NMD Farooq, P Narayana, Kolusu Parthsarathy and Kollu Ravindra, discharging responsibilities as ministers is new for the remaining 17 Cabinet members, including Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan.

Though several among the 17, including Payyavula Keshav, Gottipati Ravi Kumar, Nimmala Ramanaidu, Anagani Satya Prasad, BC Janardhan Reddy, Nadendla Manohar, Dola Sree Bala Veeranjaneya Swamy and Vangalapudi Anitha, had won as MLAs in the past, they did not get the ministerial posts.

As more than two-thirds of the Cabinet ministers being the first timers, allocation of portfolios seems to be a daunting task as the State is in dire need for efficient leadership to overcome the financial crisis.

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