KCR cabinet expansion: Will there be a woman minister?

KCR cabinet expansion: Will there be a woman minister?

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao. (PTI File Photo)

The long-overdue expansion of the two-member cabinet of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is set to take place on Tuesday, but there is little clarity whether there will be a berth for a woman legislator in the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) government.

This will be the first Cabinet expansion of the TRS government, more than two months after they swept the State Assembly polls in December. So far, only Chief Minister Chandrasekar Rao and Mohammad Mahmood Ali have been sworn in as ministers.

In the previous government, the TRS chief received much criticism for failing to include women in his cabinet.

This time around, names of three women legislators, including Padma Devender Reddy (Former Deputy Speaker) of Medak, Rekha Nayak of Khanapur and Aleru MLA Gongidi Suneetha are making rounds.

At the same time, reliable sources indicate that the list of the nine-member team that is set to take the oath on Tuesday has no women legislators in it.

This tentative list of cabinet members, cleared by the Chief Minister is said to include Allolla Indrakaran Reddy (Adilabad), Talasani Srinivasa Yadav (Hyderabad), Vemula Prashanth Reddy (Nizamabad), Koppula Eswar and Eatala Rajender (Karimnagar), V Srinivas Goud and Singireddy Niranjan Reddy (Mahbubnagar), G Jagdish Reddy (Nalgonda) and Yerrabelli Dayakar Rao (Warangal).

Sources also indicate that KCR's son K Taraka Rama Rao, who is now the working president of the TRS and KCR’s nephew and former irrigation minister T Harish Rao might be inducted after the general elections. Secunderabad legislator T Padma Rao Goud, a former Minister, is said to be the candidate for the Deputy Speaker’s post. The Chief Minister is also said to be going for a full-fledged Cabinet after the Parliament elections, which are likely to be held in April-May.

In Telangana, the state cabinet can have a maximum of 18 ministers, including the Chief Minister, since the total number cannot exceed 15 per cent of the State Legislative Assembly strength of 119 legislators.

While the women MLAs in the party have not expressed their displeasure openly so far, the State unit of BJP has already criticized KCR for practising dynasty politics. “For KCR, women representation means his daughter Kavitha as MP from Nizamabad,” a spokesperson said.

Congress leader DK Aruna and former Narsapur MLA Sunitha Laxma Reddy termed the lack of female representation in KCR cabinet as a reflection of the mindset of TRS.