Vijayawada: When ministers and MLAs belonging to the ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh were "ranked" on their performance last year, it didn't evoke any reaction.
This year, however, the ranking exercise has created a lot of buzz within the party as there is anticipation of a Cabinet reshuffle some time soon.
There is nothing official about it but the "leak" of a purported rankings list has set the rumour mills running.
Interestingly, the Chief Minister's Office issued a denial about existence of any such rankings list.
"The document leaked to the press is not valid as it is not comprehensive," a CMO official said in a statement after Telugu news channels reported the story.
"The rankings of ministers is a basic document taking indicators like press conferences and tours. The Chief Minister has directed party office to take important indicators like department growth, public perception of (ministers') performance and arrive at a comprehensive study to motivate the team," the CMO official said.
This denial notwithstanding, TDP circles are abuzz with the likely outcome of the rankings, given Chandrababu's method of keeping everyone guessing.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has been dropping hints in recent past about reshuffle, expansion of his Cabinet.
"A Muslim legislator will soon be given a berth in my Cabinet," he had announced recently.
At present, there is no one from the community in the state Cabinet.
Also, there is talk about the likely induction of Chief Minister's son Nara Lokesh into the Cabinet and TDP leaders have started a campaign for his inclusion.
Some of the ministers with whom the Chief Minister is said to be "unhappy" are likely to be dropped and some new faces included.
When some senior leaders of the party raised the Cabinet expansion issue with the Chief Minister, he reportedly told them that it would be discussed at the next meeting of the Council of Ministers.
Here comes a catch, though.
Women Development Minister Peethala Sujatha is among those who are supposed to be dropped but she ranked number one in the so-called ranking that was "leaked" after a meeting of the TDP coordination committee two days ago.
Sujatha is not ready to rejoice over her "top rank" fearing she may have to face the ignominy (of ouster), if the reports come true.