Another woman gets the Home portfolio in Jagan’s Cabinet.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday formed his Cabinet with 25 members, including five Deputy Chief Ministers, giving a lion’s share to weaker sections in tune with his election promise. The five Deputy CMs represent Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Backward Classes (BC), minorities and Kapus, a dominant intermediate caste in the state.
These five ministers with their portfolios are: Pilli Subhas Chandra Bose (Kapu)—Revenue and Registration; Alla Nani (BC)—Medical and health; K. Narayana Swamy (SC)—Excise and Commercial Taxes, Amzad Basha (Muslim minority)—Minority Welfare and Pamula Pushpa Sree Vani (ST-Woman)–Tribal Welfare.
Jagan followed the footsteps of his late father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy by giving the Home portfolio to Mekatoti Sucharita, a SC woman from Guntur district in his Cabinet. Besides these two, Taneti Vanitha is another woman in the Jagan Cabinet with women development and child welfare department. Interestingly, all the three women are first-time ministers.
Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered the oath to the new ministers at a simple ceremony at 11.49 am held at the Andhra secretariat in Amaravati. No representatives of TDP or other Opposition parties turned up to the swearing ceremony. As many as 19 out of the 25 ministers are first-timers, reflecting a generational shift in Andhra politics.
As many as six of them had worked in the Cabinet of Jagan’s father late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy earlier too. The other ministers and their portfolios are: Botsa Satyanarayana–Municipal Administration, Dhrmana Krishna Das–Roads and Buildings; Buggana Rajendranath–Finance; Pinipe Viswaroop–Social Welfare; Adimoolam Suresh–Education; Anil Yadav–Irrigation; Perni Nani–Transport and Information and Public Relations; Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy–Panchayat Raj; G. Jayaram–Labour and Employment; Shankar Narayana–BC Welfare; Sri Ranganatha Raju—Housing; Vellampalli Srinivas–Endowments; Balineni Srinivasa Reddy— Forests and Environment, Kodali Nani–Civil Supplies; K. Kanna Babu— Agriculture and Mekapati Gautham Reddy–Industries and Commerce.
Jagan surprised all by limiting the representation of powerful Reddy community with 49 MLAs in 151 strong YSR Congress legislature party. This way, he won accolades from many for giving importance to the weaker sections. The Speaker’s post has been allotted to Tammineni Sitharam, a BC and deputy speaker to Kona Raghupati, a Brahmin. Jagan on Friday announced in the YSR Congress legislature party meeting that 80-90% of the Cabinet would be changed after two-and-half-years and new faces would be inducted in their place. This way, he almost fixed tenure of two and half years to the present Cabinet. Jagan had to contend with the problem of plenty while making the ministry. As his party won 151 out of 175 MLAs in the Assembly, he found it difficult to accommodate most of them who worked with him in the last 10 years in the Opposition. Some of them were close to his late father YSR and several others were close to him and a few of them had joined from other parties before the elections.
Senior minister Botsa Satyanarayana told this newspaper that he in his 40 years of public life had never seen such transparency by a Chief Minister in Cabinet formation.