Both Members of Parliament – Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and J. D. Seelam -- inducted into Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s team in New Delhi on Monday belong to the Coastal Andhra region.
Fortune finally smiled on Mr. Sambasiva Rao, five-time MP from Eluru, while bureaucrat-turned-politician Jesudas Seelam, popularly known as J. D. Seelam, has become Union Minister of State.
With the latest expansion, the number of Union Ministers from Andhra Pradesh has gone up to 12.
Mr. Rao’s induction into the Cabinet is interesting considering that he had openly expressed displeasure when he was a denied a berth in October and there was speculation whether he would switch loyalties.
He even dashed off his resignation as MP to the Prime Minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
It is now double bonanza as he was made him permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee on Sunday. A businessman-turned politician, Mr. Rao (69) is a strong votary of united Andhra Pradesh and opposed the separate Telangana movement. Born in Krishna district, he obtained his engineering degree from Regional Engineering College, Warangal.
He made his debut in the Lok Sabha in 1984 and continued his winning streak in 1989, 1998, 2004 and 2009.
On the other hand, Mr. Seelam has been rewarded for his loyalty to the party.
The high command was apparently concerned about the erosion in its traditional support from Christians after Kadapa MP Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy quit the Congress. Party leaders point out that the Dalit Christians in Coastal Andhra were backing the YSR Congress and Ms. Seelam, who also hails from the same community, could stop this trend.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayan Reddy welcomed the appointment of the two Union Ministers.