Due representation given to Kapus and BCs in Council of Ministers

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has struck a fine balance in the selection of his Council of Ministers even as he kept his promise of giving due representation to the Kapus and Backward Classes leaders.

The new Cabinet comprises two representatives from the TDP’s ally, the BJP. BJP MLAs P. Manikyala Rao (Tadepalligudem) of West Godavari and Kamineni Srinivas (Kaikalur) of Krishna districts have been accommodated in Mr. Naidu’s Council of Ministers.

Mr. Naidu has considered seniority and loyalty to the party in the selection of N. China Rajappa (Kapu) and K.E. Krishnamurthy (BC) as Deputy Chief Ministers. While Mr. Rajappa is a trusted loyalist of Mr. Naidu, Mr. Krishnamurthy, who has been with the party for long, has contributed significantly in building the party from the grassroot level in Kurnool district.

The Cabinet has good representation of BCs who got seven berths while the dominant Kamma and Kapu communities too got a fair share. The Council of Ministers, however, did not have representatives from the minority communities and Scheduled Tribes.

Mr. Naidu’s Cabinet has three women Ministers K. Mrinalini, P. Sujatha and Paritala Sunita. Inclusion of Ms. Sunitha, wife of TDP leader Paritala Ravindra who was killed, comes in the light of film actor turned politician N. Balakrishna who won from Hindupur in Anantapur district declined to join the Cabinet. Senior TDP leader K. Kala Venkata Rao did not find a place in the Cabinet as Ms. Mrinalini, said to be his close relative, was given the Ministerial berth.

Contrary to expectations, Mr. Naidu did not give an opportunity to another senior leader Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, considered strongman of Guntur, and has selected P. Pulla Rao instead. This, according to party sources, was an attempt to balance the caste equations as Dr. Sivaprasada Rao and Mr. Pulla Rao hail from the dominant Kamma community.

Mr. Naidu conducted elaborate exercise in selecting his team and this was evident from the composition of the Cabinet which reflects a mix of youth and senior leaders. Young MLAs including Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, R. Kishore, K. Atchen Naidu, brother of late K. Yerran Naidu, and K. Ravindra hailing from the fishermen community found place in the Cabinet.

The Chief Minister made sure that seniors and trusted loyalists like Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Pulla Rao, Siddha Raghava Rao, P. Narayanaswamy Naidu, Palle Raghunatha Reddy, Ch, Ayyanna Patrudu and Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy are accommodated in the council of Ministers. Former Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, who switched loyalties from the Congress ahead of elections, has also been given a Cabinet berth. Mr. Srinivasa Rao was eyeing the post of deputy CM ever since Mr. Naidu announced that a Kapu would be given the post, but was confined to a Ministerial portfolio as the Chief Minister preferred Mr. Rajappa for the post.

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