AP Cabinet: Naidu inducts son, 4 YSRC MLAs who switched sides

AP Cabinet: Naidu inducts son, 4 YSRC MLAs who switched sides

AP Cabinet: Naidu inducts son, 4 YSRC MLAs who switched sides

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's son Nara Lokesh, four MLAs of the opposition YSRC who crossed over to the ruling TDP, and six others were today inducted into the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet while five ministers were dropped.

The first major reorganisation of the state Council of Ministers since the formation of TDP-BJP government on June 8, 2014, however, triggered discontent in the TDP.

One of the dropped ministers, Bojjala Gopala Krishna Reddy, resigned from his Assembly membership.

The veteran TDP leader from Chittoor forwarded his resignation letter to Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao this morning. A copy of the letter was also sent to the CM.

Chandrababu spoke to Bojjala over phone and is said to have explained the reason for dropping him.

Governor E S L Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a function near the state government's transitional headquarters at Velagapudi.

The AP Cabinet's strength has now increased to 26.

The Cabinet now has four members of the Legislative Council, including Lokesh who was elected to the state Legislative Council under the MLAs' quota last month.

The four YSRC MLAs, who were sworn-in as ministers included R V Sujay Krishna Rao, Bhuma Akhila Priya, Ch Adinarayana Reddy, N Amarnatha Reddy.

Veteran TDP leader and party's state unit president K Kala Venkata Rao was taken into the Cabinet while his sister-in-law Kimidi Mrinalini was dropped.

The others from the TDP to get Cabinet berths included Pithani Satyanarayana, Nakka Ananda Babu, Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, Kalva Srinivasulu and Kothapalli Samuel Jawahar.

Vijayawada Central MLA Bonda Umamaheswara Rao, who aspired to become a minister, announced that he would resign from his post but continue in the party.
MPs Kesineni Srinivas and Konakalla Narayana tried to pacify Bonda but the latter remained firm on his decision.

Government whip Ch Prabhakar was also apparently upset that his rival Pithani Satyanarayana, who joined the TDP on the eve of 2014 elections, was made a minister.

In Kadapa district, the home turf of YSRC chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, there was some resentment among those opposed to Adinarayana Reddy, who has been made a minister.

Rama Subba Reddy, senior TDP leader from Jammalamadugu in Kadapa, strongly opposed the inclusion of Adinarayana Reddy in the Cabinet and threatened to quit the party.

A Cabinet berth was a birthday gift today for 28-year-old Akhila Priya, who is the youngest minister in the state Cabinet.

At 34, Lokesh is the second youngest minister in the AP Cabinet while Deputy Chief Minister (Revenue) K E Krishna Murthy, aged 79, is the oldest.

In all, 21 out of 67 MLAs of the YSRC switched loyalty to the TDP since February 2016.

Of them, one Bhuma Nagi Reddy died last month.

Those dropped from the Cabinet are Palle Raghunatha Reddy, Bojjala Gopala Krishna Reddy, Kimidi Mrinalini, Peethala Sujatha and Ravela Kishore Babu.

Palle held many portfolios like Information and Public Relations, Information Technology, Telugu Language and Culture, Minorities Welfare and Non-Resident Telugu Affairs.

However, Palle has now been made the government chief whip, the post that has a Cabinet minister's rank.

Though it was initially expected that Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana too would be dropped and handed a special responsibility with Cabinet minister's rank, the Chief Minister was said to have decided against it.