Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Wednesday night allocated portfolios to 39 ministers who were inducted into the cabinet earlier in the day but surprisingly did not name a deputy chief minister.
The Congress leadership had announced that there will be a deputy chief minister from Telangana but the list of portfolios released Wednesday night mentioned all 39 as ministers.
Kiran, who was given a free hand by the leadership in picking his team, is believed to have decided not to appoint anybody as deputy chief minister.
Political observers say the development may create problems for the party in Telangana, where a movement for separate statehood is likely to intensify next month.
Congress legislator from the region R. Damodar Reddy alleged that Kiran Kumar Reddy had gone back on his word. Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) termed it as another proof of injustice to the region.
Congress general secretary incharge of party affairs in the state M. Veerappa Moily had gone on record last week that there will be a deputy chief minister from Telangana.
J. Geeta Reddy and Damodar Rajanarasimha, one of whom was likely to be appointed deputy chief minister, were given the portfolios of major industries and higher education respectively.
P. Sabita Indra Reddy will continue as home minister. A. Ramnarayan Reddy will be the new finance minister. In the earlier cabinet, chief minister K. Rosaiah himself was holding this portfolio.
Late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy`s brother Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy will be the new agriculture minister in place of N. Raghuveera Reddy, who will now be incharge of revenue department.
Dharmana Prasada Rao, who was minister for revenue, has been allocated the portfolio of roads and buildings, which is being seen as a sort of demotion for a senior leader.
Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who was minister for major industries in earlier cabinet, has been given the department of information technology.
Earlier, Vivekananda Reddy joined the state cabinet, ignoring the appeals of his sister-in-law Vijayalaxmi and nephew Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who resigned from the Congress party Monday.
Kiran Kumar not only dropped three loyalists of Jaganmohan Reddy, the late Y.S. Rajasekara Reddy`s rebel son who is popularly known as Jagan, but also inducted a few others who were openly targeting him and demanding probe into alleged corruption during YSR`s six-year rule.
Kiran has dropped five ministers who were members of the cabinets of YSR and Rosaiah, retained 28 ministers and brought 11 new faces. Seven of them including Vivekananda Reddy have become ministers for the first time.
Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the ministers at a morning ceremony at Raj Bhavan.
Vivekananda is the only minister from the legislative council and his induction was clearly aimed to counter Jagan, who resigned from the Congress and parliament Monday, accusing the leadership of trying to divide the family by luring his uncle with a ministerial post.
K. Jana Reddy, who was home minister in YSR`s earlier cabinet (2004-09), returned to the cabinet. He was in the forefront of the movement for separate Telangana state. However, another senior leader, J.C. Diwakar Reddy, who was expected to make a comeback, was not inducted.
The Congress retained power in April 2009 elections by bagging 156 seats in the 294-member assembly.
YSR, who took oath as the chief minister for the second consecutive term May 20 last year, died in a helicopter crash on Sep 2 the same year.
Rosaiah, who was finance minister in the YSR cabinet, succeeded him as the chief minister but retained the same cabinet. He quit last week on health grounds.