CM Revanth Makes Please All Allocation of Portfolios
CM retains home, MA&UD, gives Bhatti finance, Uttam irrigation, civil supplies
Hyderabad: Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy on Saturday made a please-all allotment of portfolios to his Cabinet ministers after taking approval from the Congress central leadership, giving Deputy Chief Minister Bhatti Vikramarka the crucial finance and energy ministries and N. Uttam Kumar Reddy irrigation and civil supplies.
With the capital city of Hyderabad and surrounding areas turning weak spots for the Congress, the Chief Minister retained the municipal administration and urban development portfolio and is likely to focus on urban development at least for six months. He also retained the home portfolio with himself.
Though it was rumoured that senior leaders vied for the crucial revenue portfolio, Revanth Reddy picked Khammam strongman Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, who played crucial role in securing a large number of seats in Khammam and Warangal for the party, for the job and also entrusted him with the responsibility of handling the media by allotting him the information and public relations portfolio.
Senior Congress leader and minister Damodar Rajanarasimha was given the important portfolio of health and medical education and Jupally Krishna Rao was allotted excise and tourism.
Revanth Reddy also made a smart move by handing over information technology and industry to D. Sridhar Babu who according to partymen is best suited for the two portfolios held by former minister K.T. Rama Rao in the previous regime. Sridhar Babu is known for his no-nonsense approach and sophistication and ability to converse with the leadership of IT and industry groups. He will also hold the legislative affairs portfolio.
D. Anasuya (Seethakka), a confidante of the Chief Minister, was allotted the important portfolio of panchayat raj, which deals with rural administration, along with the women and child welfare ministries. Veteran Tummala Nageswara Rao was allotted agriculture and textiles, Ponnam Prabhakar, a BC communities leader from the combined Karimnagar district, transport and BC welfare. Konda Surekha was allotted environment and forests along with the endowments ministry. Komatireddy Venkat Reddy got roads and buildings and the cinematography portfolios.
“While the Chief Minister has ensured that all the ministers got good portfolios, he also displayed political shrewdness with regard to allotting portfolios like finance, energy and civil supplies as the ministers will have ensure fund availability, power supply and paddy procurement or face criticism for poor performance,” a senior Congress leader pointed out.
Another move of the Chief Minister — appointing six-time MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) as the pro-tem Speaker — also kicked off a political row with the BJP seeing an attempt by the Congress to reach out to the Majlis. “We have been predicting that the Congress and the Majlis will reach an understanding,” said Union minister and state BJP chief G. Kishan Reddy.
However, irrigation minister Uttam Kumar Reddy made it clear that no motives should be seen in the government following the tradition of making most senior legislator the pro-tem Speaker. “Going by seniority I should have been the pro-tem Speaker but since I did not submit my resignation to the Lok Sabha, I cannot take the oath,” he said. On a possible Congress-MIM pact, he said it was for the state and central leadership of the party to decide.