Telangana CM rewards defectors in first cabinet expansion

Defectors dominated the list of six ministers inducted in the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) cabinet on Tuesday.

Hyderabad: Defectors dominated the list of six ministers inducted in the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) cabinet on Tuesday.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao rewarded T. Srinivas Yadav and Tummala Nageswara Rao, who quit Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to join TRS, with ministerial berths.

They were among six ministers administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan at a ceremony held at Raj Bhavan. A.Indrakaran Reddy, Jupally Krishna Rao, C. Laxma Reddy and A. Chandulal were the other four sworn in as new ministers.

Srinivas Yadav, a key TDP leader in Hyderabad, resigned from the party and from the Telangana assembly a couple of hours before the swearing-in.

Nageswara Rao, who joined the TRS in August, is a powerful leader in Khammam district, where the TRS is considered weak and has just one legislator.

Both Yadav and Nageswara Rao had served as ministers in the cabinet of N. Chandrababu Naidu in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.

The TRS chief also rewarded A. Indrakaran Reddy for switching loyalties. The 65-year-old was elected to the assembly on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket but within a few weeks crossed over to the TRS.

A key leader in Adilabad district and one of the first Congress legislators to raise his voice for a separate Telangana state, Indrakaran Reddy was twice elected to the Lok Sabha.

He started his political career with the TDP before joining the Congress. He was also briefly associated with the YSR Congress party.

Jupally Krishna Rao, who resigned as a minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2011 to protest the delay in the formation of the Telangana state, also secured a cabinet berth.

A prominent leader from Mahabubnagar district, he served as minister in the cabinets of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Kiran Kumar Reddy. In the elections held in April this year, he was elected to assembly as a TRS candidate.

Azmeera Chandulal, a tribal leader from Warangal district, served in the cabinet of N.T. Rama Rao. He was also elected twice to the Lok Sabha. In 2005, he quit the TDP to join the TRS.

C. Laxma Reddy is a TRS legislator from Jadcherla constituency in Mahabubnagar district. He was elected twice to the assembly.

With the first expansion, the number of ministers in the cabinet has gone up to 18. There is not a single woman in the ministry.

Chandrasekhar Rao and 11 ministers took oath of office June 2, the day when Telangana came into being as the 29th state in the country.

TRS had bagged 65 seats in the 119-member assembly in the elections held in April.