NEW DELHI: Senior BJP leader G Kishan Reddy became the first Union Cabinet minister from Telanagana when he was sworn-in along with 42 other MPs in the union cabinet expansion ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhawan on Wednesday.
The Secunderabad MP, who was promoted on Wednesday after serving as the Minister of State for Home Affairs for the past two years, is believed to be a trusted lieutenant of senior BJP leader Amit Shah.
Reddy was assigned three ministries in the Cabinet rejig Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) ministries.
Fondly known as Kishananna, Reddy is said to have been handpicked by Shah to be his deputy when the latter took charge as the union home minister in 2019. Shah’s confidence in Reddy was visible in how responsibilities were divided between Reddy and his fellow MoS Nityanand Rai.
Reddy was allocated the important divisions in the Union home ministry such as Jammu and Kashmir, Left-wing extremism, the Northeast, Union Territories, women safety, internal security, cyber-information security, counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation. Rai was left with administration division, border management, disaster division, police division and the financial division.
It is pertinent to point out that Shah entrusted Reddy to table some of the key Bills including the National Investigation Act (Amendment) Bill 2019, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (Amendment) Bill 2019, the Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2021 and the J&K Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Reddy also filled in the shoes of his senior minister after Shah fell ill last year and was out of action for nearly a fortnight. Reddy was earlier a three-time MLA and BJP floor Leader in Telangana and (undivided) Andhra Pradesh assemblies. Reddy has served key positions in BJP too. He has served as BJPs state president in the undivided state of AP and also Telangana.
Known for his calm demeanour, Reddy impressed the BJP brass when he spoke aggressively against the Chandrashekar Rao’s government’s proposal for a 12% quota for Muslims in educational institutes and government jobs in Telangana. In 2017, Reddy also demanded a CBI probe into an alleged “beef mafia” operating in Hyderabad.
With this elevation, Kishan Reddy will be the first person in the union ministerial position after the formation of Telangana. Only five people from Telangana have served as union ministers — Marri Chenna Reddy, G Venkata Swamy, S Jaipal Reddy, K Chandrashekar Rao and PV Narasimha Rao who went on to become India’s 9th Prime Minister.