Names of K. Chiranjeevi, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy, Killi Krupa Rani and P. Balram Naik doing the rounds

Unlike in the past when veterans were preferred, the next round of the Union Cabinet’s expansion on Sunday could see the induction of four new faces from Andhra Pradesh.

The names that are doing the rounds -- K. Chiranjeevi, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy, Killi Krupa Rani and P. Balram Naik -- are all new. Among them, the induction of the actor-turned-politician, Mr. Chiranjeevi, appears a certainty.

Ever since he merged his Praja Rajyam Party into the Congress after the 2009 elections, the party’s central leadership had been promising him “due recognition in line with his stature.”

Aides of Mr Chiranjeevi, who is serving his maiden Rajya Sabha term claim that he is sure to be taken into the Union Cabinet as Minister of State with independent charge.

They further claim that he could be given tourism and culture portfolio.

Mr. Suryaprakash Reddy, Dr Krupa Rani and Mr. Balram Naik, Lok Sabha Members from Kurnool, Srikakulam and Mahbubabad constituencies, respectively, reportedly got telephone calls from the Cabinet Secretary to be present in New Delhi on Sunday.

The other names doing the rounds are that of Renuka Chowdary, K.S. Rao, Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, Anjan Kumar Yadav and Sarve Satyanarayana.

Party leaders point out that Mr. Suryaprakash Reddy could have got the nod because of his loyalty to the Gandhi family.

At one stage when a majority of the State Congress leaders backed Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy for the Chief Minister’s post, the three-time MP came out against him.

Early luck

For 48-year-old first time MP, Balram Naik, a Lambada, luck seems to have smiled on him rather early. It is understood that his case was strongly recommended by vice-chairman of National Disaster Management Authority Marri Sashidhar Reddy. He is said to have backed him for the Cabinet berth by putting in a word with the AICC leadership. Dr. Krupa Rani won the 2009 elections to the Lok Sabha from Srikakulam constituency for the first time.

At present there are five Union Ministers from the State, S. Jaipal Reddy, hailing from Telangana and the other four Panabaka Lakshmi, D. Purandeswari, Kishore Chandra Deo and M. M. Pallam Raju from Coastal Andhra region.