Kiran Reddy lands in trouble with cabinet expansion
TNN | Feb 7, 2012, 04.26AM IST
HYDERABAD: The induction of Congress MLAs Uttam Kumar Reddy, Prasada
Kumar and Kondru Murali by chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy into his
cabinet on Monday evening triggered more dissent rather than douse the
existing ones. The feeling that two members of the SC Mala community
(Prasada Kumar and Murali) have been inducted into the cabinet to
mollify the community after the recent vandalism of Ambedkar's statues
have left other powerful communities unhappy.
While the three vacancies are from Telangana caused by the exit of
Komatireddy Venkata Reddy, Jupalli Krishna Rao and P Shankar Rao, only
two of the slots have been given to the region. Bhupalli Venkata
Ramana Reddy, an MLA from Telangana region and a serious ministerial
aspirant, was instead offered the post of chief whip which fell vacant
after Kondru Murali was sworn in as a minister. However, an unhappy
Venkata Reddy is said to be unwilling to take up the post and stormed
out of the CM's Camp Office when he was made the offer by Kiran on
While the portfolios for new ministers is yet to be formally
announced, with the Congress high command not giving an OK to Kiran
Kumar to drop senior ministers D L Ravindra Reddy and Jana Reddy, the
CM is planning to clip their wings.
While Uttam Kumar Reddy is tipped to be given the medical education
charge till now with Ravindra Reddy as part of his health portfolio,
Kondru Murali is expected to be handed over the rural water supply
charge till now with Jana Reddy. Uttam Reddy a former fighter pilot
who quit IAF after injuring his back in an air crash while flying low
over enemy territory is a favorite of Kiran Reddy. The chief minister
had been batting for the ex- IAF officer who also served as an aide to
the then President R Venkataraman, but unsuccessfully till now.
A furious health minister Ravindra Reddy, who boycotted the
swearing-in ceremony, told his close aides that he would quit the
cabinet if his portfolio is split and given to anybody else.
Similarly, home minister Sabita Indra Reddy is upset over the move of
the CM to give the home department charge to deputy chief minister
Damodar Raja Narasimha.
"Two Malas have been inducted into the cabinet. So it is only fair
that the Madiga community (to which the deputy CM belongs to) is
placated in some form or the other. whose department is likely to be
given to deputy chief minister did not attend the swearing in
ceremony. Apart from that, Sabita is miffed over the fact that Prasad
Kumar, the right-hand man of K Laxma Reddy, her arch rival from Ranga
Reddy district, has been inducted into the cabinet.
According to indications late on Monday night, Kondru Murli is tipped
to get the 108, 104 and Arogyasri charges currently held by Ravindra
Reddy. Housing portfolio held presently by Kanna Lakshminarayana, is
to be given to Uttam Kumar and Kanna made incharge of agriculture,
which is currently in the additional charge of the Deputy CM since YS
Vivekananda Reddy quit the cabinet. Prasad Kumar is slated to get the
textiles portfolio till now held by Shankar Rao.
Amudalavalasa MLA B Satyavati offered to quit the party stating
'injustice' has been done to BC women in the party. According to
sources, Satyavati was lured from the Jagan camp with the promise of a
ministerial berth, which however, did not happen. Speaking to media
persons at Srikakulam, the two-time MLA said she was deeply pained at
not being giving the promised post. She belongs to the strong
'Kalinga' caste which has considerable population in the backward
Shaken by her threat, the chief minister telephoned and requested her
not to take any hasty action and gave an assurance that she will be
rewarded very soon. However, an unyielding Satyavati convened a
meeting of her followers late on Monday night to finalise her future
course of action.
Apart from Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy, many other Congress MLAs from
the region are unhappy. The fact that both Uttam Kumar Reddy and
Prasad Kumar are not known as hardcore separatists on the issue of
Telangana and have not supported the T agitation irked many T Congress
MLAs who have played active role in the movement.
The pro-Telangana legislators are now chalking out an action plan to
bring pressure on Kiran so that some of them are also included in the
cabinet in the future.
Former minister J C Diwakar Reddy, who camped in Delhi for three days
in the hope of securing a cabinet berth, as well as MLCs P Venkata
Rao, Mohd Jani and P Sudhakar Reddy are upset at not being inducted
into the cabinet.
With the induction of the three ministers, the strength of the Kiran
cabinet rose to 41 including the chief minister. Community wise,
Reddys account for 13 berths, BCs 11, Kapus 4 and SCs 7 of which 4 are
held by the Malas and the remaining three by the Madigas. Region-wise,
coastal Andhra accounts for 17 berths, Telangana 15 and Rayalaseema 9.
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