Two Chiranjeevi men join Andhra cabinet

HYDERABAD — In a minor cabinet expansion, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday inducted two legislators — C Ramachandraiah and G Srinivasa Rao — from the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) which merged with the Congress last year.

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Published: Fri 20 Jan 2012, 11:51 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 11:19 AM

The swearing-in ceremony, which was held at the Raj Bahvan, barely lasted five minutes with Governor E S L Narasimhan administering the oath of office and secrecy to the two lawmakers in the presence of Kiran Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, Congress state unit chief Botsa Satyanarayana, Chiranjeevi, his brother-in-law Allu Arjun, ministers, MPs and legislators. Most ruling party legislators and leaders from Telangana region did not turn up for the ceremony. With the induction of these two ministers, the strength of the cabinet has gone up to 37.

The limited exercise follows the green signal given by the Congress High Command to Kiran Reddy when he visited New Delhi for discussions with the top party brass on Wednesday.

The high command, however, would not yield to Kiran Reddy’s request for a major reshuffle stating that it could be taken up at a later date. Simultaneously with the induction, the chief minister also dropped maverick Textiles Minister P Shankar Rao who had been targeting him for his alleged “unilateral style of functioning” and accusing some of his cabinet colleagues of being corrupt.

During his discussions with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, political secretary Ahmed Patel and AICC general secretary in-charge of AP affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad in the capital, the chief minister had proposed a complete overhaul of his cabinet involving removal of at least four dissident colleagues and bringing in his loyalists into the team. The party high command, however, rejected the idea and directed him to take up a limited exercise. Political analysts believe that the Congress leadership was wary of stirring up a hornet’s nest by permitting a total recast of the cabinet, particularly at a time when the Congress only enjoyed a slender majority in the assembly. —

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