Congress's combination to fight Jagan, TDP, Telangana

Loyalty was criterion for inclusion in Cabinet

Andhra Pradesh (AP) now has a rainbow combination of representation of caste, region and loyalties in the Union cabinet, says PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana, and adds that the party is now fighting fit to combat Jagan, Telangana and the TDP in the 2014 polls.

It was never this good for the Congress MPs from AP since independence with a total of 11 Cabinet rank ministers. It is a diwali bonanza for the state that has earned five additional berths, squarely aimed at addressing the triple trouble of Jagan, Telangana and TDP.

Five more Congress MPs, two each from Telangana and coastal Andhra and one from Rayalaseema were inducted into the Cabinet on Sunday at the Rastrapathi Bhavan. What stunned old timers was the elevation of NTR’s daughter and Visakhapatnam MP, D Purandeswari as commerce minister and Pallam Raju to HRD ministry.

 “This kind of sidelining of senior MPs did not happen even during Indira Gandhi regime,” said a senior Congress leader and former MP K Keshav Rao, adding in the same breath that AP never had it this good (AP had seven ministers during the Narasimha Rao regime).

The 11 Cabinet ministers from AP are Jaipal Reddy, Jairam Ramesh, Kishore Chandra Deo, Purandeswari, Pallam Raju, Panabaka Lakshmi, Chiranjeevi, Kotla Jayasurya Prakash Reddy, Sarve Satyanarayana, Balaram Naik and Dr Killi Kripa Rani.

 The Congress high command has rewarded loyalty and the selection of candidates were on expected lines.

Sarve Satyanarayana (Malkajgiri) and Balram Naik got berths for not joining the Telangana bandwagon. With their induction, the strength of Telangana MPs in UPA rose to three, along with S Jaipal Reddy.

The party has given maximum berths to Coastal Andhra in Purandeswari, Pallam Raju, Kishore Chandra Deo, Panabaka Lakshmi, Chiranjeevi and Kripa Rani, a total of six from the region. Purandeswari has been elevated to keep a tab on the NTR family and distance it from Chandrababu Naidu and the TDP.

The Kapu community, which is presently the back bone of the Congress in Coastal Andhra has three berths in Chiranjeevi, Kripa Rani and Pallam Raju. The Rayalaseema region has one representative in Kota Jayasurya Prakash Reddy, arch rival of the YSR family. The move is to check the YSRC president and Kadapa MP Jaganmohan Reddy and also to stem the anticipated exodus to the YSRC from the region.

“It is a election Cabinet and the high command has realised the need to refurbish the Andhra cadre. At last they have realised that Kiran Kumar Reddy cannot win it alone,” said senior Congress MP V Hanumantha Rao.

 However, there is disappointment among the senior Coastal Andhra MPs like Kavuri Sambashiv Rao (Eluru) and Rayapati Sambashiv Rao (Guntur).

Efforts were on to appease the four time MP Kavuri who threatened to resign and shot off a letter to Speaker Meira Kumar and also to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
 Latest reports suggest that Purandeswari was made minister of state instead of being given a Cabinet rank to appease Kavuri.

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