Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh, four MLAs of the opposition YSRC who switched loyalty to the ruling TDP-BJP coalition, and six others were today inducted into the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet. Five incumbent ministers were dropped in the maiden reorganisation of the state Council of Ministers since the government was formed on June 8, 2014. Soon after the rejig, one of the dropped ministers Bojjala Gopala Krishna Reddy resigned from his Assembly membership.
The veteran TDP leader from Chittoor forwarded his resignation letter to Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao this morning. A copy of the letter was also sent to the CM.
Governor ESL Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a function near the state government’s transitional headquarters at Velagapudi. The AP Cabinet’s strength has now increased to 26. Nara Lokesh was elected to the state Legislative Council under the MLAs’ quota last month. Veteran Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and state unit president K Kala Venkata Rao was inducted into the Cabinet while his sister-in-law Kimidi Mrinalini was dropped.
The four YSRC MLAs, who were sworn-in as ministers included R V Sujay Krishna Rao, Bhuma Akhila Priya, Ch Adinarayana Reddy and N Amarnatha Reddy. From the TDP, Pithani Satyanarayana, Nakka Ananda Babu, Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, Kalva Srinivasulu and Kothapalli Samuel Jawahar got Cabinet berths.
Since February 2016, 21 out of the 67 MLAs of the YSRC have crossed over to the TDP. Of them, one Bhuma Nagi Reddy died last month. His daughter Bhuma Akhila Priya has been made a minister. The MLAs, who switched sides, had earlier said they did so only to “ensure development” of their respective constituencies.
Some were offered ministerial berths, the YSRC had alleged. The five ministers dropped from the Cabinet are Palle Raghunatha Reddy, Bojjala Gopala Krishna Reddy, Kimidi Mrinalini, Peethala Sujatha and Ravela Kishore Babu.
Palle held many portfolios like Information and Public Relations, Information Technology, Telugu Language and Culture, Minorities Welfare and Non-Resident Telugu Affairs.He has now been made the government’s chief whip, a post that has a Cabinet minister’s rank.
Though it was initially expected that Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana too would be dropped and handed a special responsibility with Cabinet minister’s rank, the Chief Minister was said to have decided against it.
There were murmurs of dissent in Kadapa, SPS Nellore and other districts also as some aspirants were denied Cabinet berths.
In Kadapa, the home turf of YSRC chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, there was some resentment among those opposed to Adinarayana Reddy, who has been made a minister. A couple of other legislators too were said to have decided to quit their posts but some MPs and other senior leaders apparently intervened and pacified them.