Cong MPs sulk over less representation of AP in Union Cabinet

Cong MPs sulk over less representation of AP in Union Cabinet

"Andhra Pradesh has given 33 Lok Sabha members to the Congress. Cabinet berths should be given in accordance with that. The Central government stands on the strength of AP Congress MPs. In neighbouring Karnataka, they have less MPs but better representation in the Cabinet," Congress Lok Sabha member M Jagannadham said in Delhi.

He said the party MPs would bring the matter to the notice of the party high command. Jagannadham, who belongs to Telangana, felt that the earlier remarks of the MPs from the region that they would quit their posts for the sake of separate statehood could have worked against them.

He cautioned that Telugu Desam, which always tried to champion the cause of Telugu pride, and former Congress MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is also highlighting the cause of Telugu self-respect, would now try to take advantage of the situation.

While Jagannadham and R Sambasiva Rao, Lok Sabha member from Guntur in coastal Andhra, were more open about their views, other MPs like T Subbarami Reddy and V Kishore Chandra Deo expressed confidence that the state would get more berths in the next reshuffle.

"There are various things that are considered for Cabinet expansion. It is right that more berths should have been given to Andhra Pradesh but I am confident that justice would be done in the next Cabinet expansion after the Budget session," Subbarami Reddy said.

"Andhra Pradesh has contributed 33 MPs for Congress. Kerala has 16 MPs and there are six ministers. Karnataka has six MPs and there are four ministers. It shows that Congress has no respect for Andhra Pradesh and MPs from the state. This will hurt the party," Sambasiva Rao said in the national capital.

Andhra Pradesh is currently represented in the Union Cabinet by Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy and Ministers of State D Purandeswari, M M Pallam Raju, Panabaka Lakshmi and A Sai Prathap. The party MPs from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are scheduled to have a meeting with top leaders like Pranab Mukherjee today to discuss the Telangana issue and are expected to raise the issue of AP being kept out of the Cabinet rejig.