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The saga of short-lived Cabinets

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Formality: Women Ministers taking oath at Raj Bhavan on Sunday.
Formality: Women Ministers taking oath at Raj Bhavan on Sunday.

K. Venkateshwarlu

Shortest Cabinet tenure of 31 days held by the Nadendla Bhaskara Rao Ministry in 1984

Vijayabhaskar Reddy passed the baton twice to NTR

Rosaiah is second MLC to become Chief Minister

HYDERABAD: With the members of former Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s Cabinet asked to go through the motion of taking the oath again on Sunday, their tenure would be one of the shortest of 106 days in the political history of Andhra Pradesh.

The shortest one of course is 31 days, a record held by former Chief Minister Nadendla Bhaskara Rao (August 16, 1984 to September 15, 1984) when he revolted against then Chief Minister, N. T. Rama Rao, in a coup and formed the government with Congress support.

Popular upsurge

Mr. Rao pulled the rug under NTR’s feet with support from the Congress when he had gone to the US to undergo open heart surgery. NTR hit back, launched a save democracy movement and triggered such a popular upsurge that then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had to reinstate him within a month.

But NTR himself led a short-lived Ministry for 66 days (September 16, 1984 to November 22, 1984) when he sought dissolution of the Assembly and went in for fresh elections in 1985. Till his party returned to power on March 9, 1985, he was caretaker Chief Minister. In 1989, he sacked his 31-member Cabinet and went on a tour of other States.

Embarrassment

Another short tenure Ministry of 111 days was headed by K. Vijayabhaskara Reddy (September 20, 1982 to January 9, 1983), his first term. Although his second innings lasted for over two years (October 9, 1992 to December 12, 1994) he had to face the embarrassment of passing the baton on both occasions, 1983 and 1994, to NTR.

Bhavanam Venkatram was another Congress Chief Minister (February 24, 1982 to September 20, 1982) whose tenure lasted for 208 days. Incidentally, the current Chief Minister, K. Rosaiah, is the second MLC to occupy the top slot, after Bhavanam. NTR had a relatively short tenure of 263 days during his last term, from December 12, 1994 to August 31, 1995 when his son-in-law, N. Chandrababu Naidu, engineered the support of majority of the MLAs and took over the reins of administration.

Mr. Naidu holds the record of being the longest serving Chief Minister (September 1, 1995 to May 14, 2004) for 3,178 days.

Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy who was all set to break it, lost his life in a tragic helicopter crash.


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