New Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today held meetings with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of party leaders, during which the names of his Cabinet members are understood to have been finalised.
Mr. Reddy arrived here this morning on his maiden visit to the capital after assuming office on Thursday. He met Mr. Singh, Ms. Gandhi, Home Minister P Chidambaram and other Congress leaders and sought their cooperation in running the government.
During his meeting with Ms. Gandhi and Mr. Singh, the 50-year-old Chief Minister thanked them for choosing him for the top post and told them that his administration will be “transparent” to the people.
With Ms. Sonia, Mr. Kiran Reddy is also believed to have discussed the probable candidates for ministerial berths.
The Cabinet is likely to be constituted tomorrow, a day before the Winter Session of Andhra Pradesh Assembly starts.
The Chief Minister has already held one round of discussion on the Cabinet formation with Law Minister Veerappa Moily, who is also the in-charge of party affairs in the State, in Hyderabad.
On his arrival, Mr. Kiran Reddy told reporters: “I am here to meet Madam Sonia Gandhi and other high command members to convey my thanks for the responsibility they have given to me. I have come for Cabinet consultation with them.
“My agenda will be to try to give a clean and transparent government,” he said in reply to a question.
Mr. Reddy will also meet Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Defence Minister A K Antony and Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy, who also hails from Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Moily has already announced that the State will have a deputy chief minister from the sensitive Telangana region.
Lobbying for ministerial berths has already begun and there is speculation that supporters of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy will also be given ministerial berths, a move aimed at mollifying the belligerent Kadapa MP.
Mr. Jagan’s uncle and late chief minister YSR Reddy’s brother Y S Vivekananda Reddy is already camping in the capital seeking a cabinet berth for himself.
Mr. Moily has said that the high command will give a free hand to Mr. Reddy to choose his cabinet.
Mr. Reddy, an MLA from Pileru in Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh’s Ralayaseema region, is a YSR loyalist and was the Assembly Speaker till Thursday.