Women find no place in KCR's expanded Cabinet

Six more inducted, ministry strength rises to 18

Women find no place in KCR's expanded Cabinet

In a major disappointment to women legislators of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao failed to include any of them in his Cabinet expansion on Tuesday.

Rao inducted six new ministers in the Cabinet and the strength of his ministry has gone up to 18. Prominent among them are two defectors to the TRS from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) who have joined the ruling party after Rao formed the government in the new state.

Besides former TDP leaders Talasani Srinivas Yadav and Tummala Nageswara Rao, A Indrakaran Reddy (formerly with Bahujan Samaj Party), Jupally Krishna Rao, Ch Laxma Reddy and Ajmera Chandulal were inducted to the ministry on Tuesday. A prominent Yadav leader from Sanathnagar constituency in Hyderabad, Srinivas Yadav won the seat on a TDP ticket in April’s elections. But he resigned from the legislature and from the primary membership of the TDP before joining the Cabinet.

Political observers say that the chief minister chose Yadav keeping the forthcoming GHMC elections and his ties with the Majlis who have dominated politics in the old city.

Meanwhile, a sulking Konda Surekha from Warangal district, who defected to the TRS from the YSR Congress, stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan. Sources close to Surekha say that she is upset that the chief minister is favouring her opposite camp in Warangal, despite welcoming her to the party with the aim of strengthening TRS in the district.

Asifabad MLA Kova Lakshmi, who was in the race for a Cabinet birth in women’s quota, was offered the Parliament Secretary position.

Lakshmi eventually lost out to Chandulal, who was given a Cabinet position on account of his ST status, as promised by the chief minister.

Dharmapuri MLA and prominent SC leader Koppula Eswar also stayed away from the swearing in.

Tummala Nageswara Rao, a well-known Kamma leader in Kammam district, was rewarded with a Cabinet birth for bringing several senior TDP leaders in the district to the TRS fold. However, several TRS leaders are upset over the  induction of many “outsiders” despite the fact that many of them have been with the party during its decade-long struggle for a separate Telangana.

“We are upset about Tummala being given prominence. Kamma community has worked against the interests of Telangana and should not have been given prominence,” a student leader from Osmania university said.

The chief minister, who has his own plans, could, however, replace home minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, who has not been keeping good health, with Tummala in the minor cabinet jig expected in a few days.

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