Telangana state Cabinet expansion: Emphasis on BC, minority representation

According to party sources, BC communities like Mudiraj, Munnuru Kapu, Goud and Yadava hold significant political influence in the state.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.Express Illustrations

HYDERABAD: The much-anticipated expansion of the state Cabinet has set off intense discussions in the ruling Congress, with leaders across the party hierarchy

discussing among themselves who would get berths, especially from the Backward Classes (BC) and minority communities.

Speaking to TNIE on condition of anonymity, senior Congress leaders said that the high command is keen that at least two BC leaders and one minority leader are appointed to the six vacant ministerial positions in the Cabinet. This will ensure social equality, the leaders said.

According to party sources, BC communities like Mudiraj, Munnuru Kapu, Goud and Yadava hold significant political influence in the state.

The current Cabinet includes Husnabad MLA Ponnam Prabhakar from the Goud community and Warangal East MLA Konda Surekha, who is married to Konda Murali of the Munnuru Kapu community. Vemulawada MLA Adi Srinivas and Yadava community MLA Beerla Ilaiah have been appointed Whips in the Assembly.

This would mean that a slot for a leader from the Mudiraj community is open. Makthal MLA Vakati Srihari is a strong contender to fill this slot.

Also, the chief minister may consider another BC leader, possibly from the Munnuru Kapu or Yadava communities. According to the senior leaders, the party is keen that a Hyderabad-based BC leader is given a berth, but the biggest drawback it faces is that no single MLA from the city represents the Congress in the Assembly.

The party may opt to give a Cabinet berth to a city-based leader who has not been elected to either House of the Legislature. It will have six months to ensure this minister is elected to either House. Some vacancies in the Legislative Council will open up in March, giving the government more options then.

The appointment of a minority leader is also under discussion, but the options the chief minister has is limited. The name of a Hyderabad-based journalist Amer Ali Khan as well as a well-known leader who was unsuccessful in the 2023 Assembly elections is also doing the rounds. The name of yet another minority leader is being mentioned in state Congress as well as AICC circles, but the high command is reportedly not happy with him.

According to the senior leaders, the party leadership is expected to announce the Cabinet expansion sooner than later.

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