A.P., Kerala get highest number of representatives in Cabinet

The unwillingness of the DMK to fill up its quota of vacancies in the Cabinet, the Telangana imbroglio, the impact of the YSR Congress, the BJP’s troubles in Karnataka and the Congress’ good performance in Kerala have brought fortunes on the Congress MPs from the South — every fourth of them is now a Union Minister.

The Cabinet reshuffle made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday has helped Andhra Pradesh and Kerala to create history of having for the first time the highest number of their representatives in the Cabinet.

With the induction/elevation of five Ministers, including actor-politician K. Chiranjeevi as Minister of State with independent charge (Tourism), Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of 11 Ministers, of whom four are of Cabinet rank (S. Jaipal Reddy, Jairam Ramesh, Kishore Chandra Deo and M.M. Pallam Raju), one is a MoS (independent charge) and six are Ministers of State. Mr. Raju, who was MoS (Defence) has been elevated to the Cabinet rank. (Mr. Ramesh, who belongs to Karnataka, was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh.)

A.P. now tops the list of having the highest number of Cabinet Ministers (4) among the Southern States.

Kerala, with its eight representatives now in the Ministry, has equalled its strength with Tamil Nadu representatives (including those from the DMK) in the Cabinet. Besides, its Rajya Sabha member (Congress) P.J. Kurien is the Deputy Chairman of the Upper House.

But unlike Tamil Nadu, which has three Cabinet Ministers (P. Chidambaram, G.K. Vasan and M.K. Alagiri), Kerala has only two Cabinet rank Ministers (A.K. Antony and Vayalar Ravi).

There is no significant change in Karnataka’s strength in the Ministry as S.M. Krishna’s loss is the gain of the former Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, K. Rahman Khan, who has become a Cabinet Minister in charge of Minorities Affairs. The State has now three Cabinet Ministers (M. Veerappa Moily, Mallikarjun Kharge and Mr. Khan) and one Minister of State with independent charge (K.H. Muniyappa elevated).

It is significant to note that out of 85 MPs the Congress has both in the Lok Sabha (60) and the Rajya Sabha (25) from the Southern States (including Puducherry), 26 are Ministers. Of them, 12 are of Cabinet rank. Besides one MP from Kerala is the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Mr. Kurien).

Dr. Singh has ensured that each of the four Southern States has got at least one MoS with independent charge.

The strength of the Congress in the Lok Sabha from Andhra Pradesh (total strength 42) is 31, from Kerala (20) is13, Karnataka (28) is 7 and Tamil Nadu (39) is 8.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Congress from the Southern States has the highest of 13 members belonging to Andhra Pradesh (total 18), four each from Tamil Nadu (18) and Karnataka (12) and three from Kerala (9).