Y. Satya Kumar is lone BJP MLA to get ministerial berth in Chandrababu Naidu’s Cabinet

The decision is in keeping with the TDP-JSP-BJP alliance’s understanding of each political party being assigned one ministerial berth for every seven seats won by it

Updated - June 13, 2024 12:33 am IST

Published - June 12, 2024 09:45 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Y. Satya Kumar expressing his gratitude to BJP-AP president and Rajahmundry MP Daggubati Purandeswari, at a party meeting in Vijayawada on Wednesday.

Y. Satya Kumar expressing his gratitude to BJP-AP president and Rajahmundry MP Daggubati Purandeswari, at a party meeting in Vijayawada on Wednesday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been allotted one ministerial berth in Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s Cabinet, in accordance with the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) understanding of one berth for every seven MLA seats won by either of the three constituent parties.

While the TDP had won 135 Assembly seats, the JSP won 21 seats and the BJP eight.

The lone ministerial berth for the BJP went to its Dharmavaram MLA Satya Kumar Yadav, who works as the national secretary of the BJP and is a close aide of former Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu. Mr. Satya Kumar is a first-time MLA.

In his earlier stint as Chief Minister, Mr. Naidu had accommodated two BJP MLAs — Kamineni Srinivas and Pydikondala Manikyala Rao— in his Cabinet, despite the saffron party winning only four Assembly seats. While Mr. Srinivas was given the Medical and Health portfolio, Mr. Manikyala Rao served as Endowments Minister.

This time around, it was widely speculated that four BJP MLAs would be inducted into Mr. Naidu’s Cabinet: Y. Satyanarayana (Sujana) Chowdary (Vijayawada West), Kamineni Srinivas (Kaikalur), Chandipirala Adinarayana Reddy (Jammalamadugu) and P. Vishnu Kumar Raju (Visakhapatnam North). Surprisingly, none of them were given a ministerial berth.

“The BJP adopted a policy that leaders who have been with the party from the beginning should be given a chance. Hence, Mr. Satya Kumar’s name was considered,” said a leader who did not want to be named. There are other MLAs such as Dr. Parthasarathy, who won from Adoni, who have been associated with the BJP from many years. But the BJP leadership is inclined towards Mr. Satya Kumar, who hails from the Backward Classes (BC) community.

Other MLAs Eswara Rao Nadukuditi, Ramakrishna Reddy Nallamilli, Penmetsa Vishnu Kumar Raju, all hail from forward castes. Also, Mr. Eswara Rao and Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy joined the BJP from other political parties.

Mr. Sujana Chowdary served as Union Minister of State for Science and Technology from 2014–18 in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first Cabinet. Mr. Sujana Chowdary was still part of the TDP then. He later switched to the BJP after the TDP walked out of the NDA protesting the Centre’s refusal to grant Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh. However, Mr. Sujana Chowdary and Mr. Naidu continue to maintain cordial relations.

Similarly, Mr. Adinarayana Reddy, who won on a YSRCP ticket in the 2014 elections, joined the TDP later and served as a Minister in Mr. Naidu’s Cabinet in 2017. He joined the BJP in 2019.

BJP’s MLAs come from varied caste backgrounds — two are Reddys, three Kammas, two BCs (Yadava and Valmiki Boya) and one Kshatriya.

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