Almost two months after the Telangana Rashtra Samiti was elected for its second term in the assembly elections, the state cabinet was expanded, with 10 ministers being sworn in on Tuesday. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao retained several key portfolios like Finance, IT, urban development and information and public relations.
A simple swearing-in ceremony was held at the Raj Bhavan for the Telangana cabinet expansion.
While there were 16 ministers during the TRS government’s first tenure, the cabinet, as of now, has twelve ministers including the CM and the Home Minister.
Among those who were inducted into the council of ministers were six new faces, S Niranjan Reddy, Koppula Eashwar, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, V Srinivas Goud, Vemula Prashanth Reddy and Ch Malla Reddy. Whereas, A Indrakaran Reddy, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, G Jagadish Reddy and Etela Rajender, who were part of the cabinet in Rao’s previous term, returned as ministers.
However, in a surprising turn of events, KCR’s son KT Rama Rao and nephew T Harish Rao were left out of the cabinet.
Meanwhile, it is speculated that the cabinet will be further expanded post the Lok Sabha elections which are expected to take place in March-May this year. As of now, both of KCR’s trusted associates, KTR and Harish Rao, have been tasked with winning 16 out of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana. Following the Assembly elections, the CM will take a call on either inducting them into the cabinet or give them a role to play at the national level.
Rao, who had taken the oath as chief minister a little over two months ago, delayed the cabinet formation. All this while a two-member cabinet, including the Home minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali and KCR himself, ran the show until finally a 10 member cabinet was sworn in a few days ahead of the budget session of the Assembly. After the expansion, the strength of Telangana council of ministers has risen to 12.
None of the woman members could make it to the Council of Ministers. Rao’s first Cabinet also did not have any woman minister.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governor ESL Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly-inducted ministers at Raj Bhavan, in the presence of the Chief Minister.
On December 11, 2018, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi came back to power after winning 88 seats out of 119 assembly seats. On December 13, KCR took the oath as the Chief Minister along with Mahmood Ali who was sworn in as the Home Minister.