Telangana Cabinet Expansion After Local Bodies Polls in July

HYDERABAD: With the conclusion of polling for Lok Sabha elections in Telangana on May 13, the focus in the Congress circles has shifted to the expansion of the five-month-old A. Revanth Reddy Cabinet.

While the buzz was that Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy would expand the Cabinet after the Lok Sabha election results in June, party sources ruled out such a possibility until rural local body polls are over in June or July.

Elections to three-tier panchayat raj institutions — gram panchayats, mandal parishads and zilla parishads — are key to the power pyramid of the state and are likely to be held in the last week of June or the first week of July.

As per Constitutional norms, the size of Telangana Cabinet should not exceed 18 including the Chief Minister. Currently, there are 12 members in the Cabinet at present including the Chief Minister. This allows the Chief Minister to induct six more ministers in the Cabinet.

There is no representation for old Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Nizamabad and Adilabad districts in the cabinet.

Sources said the party high command will assess the performance of ministers and MLAs based on the results in the Lok Sabha polls and local bodies polls.

“There are chances of dropping or reshuffling portfolios of a few ministers based on their performance and MLAs who secured better results for the Congress in the Lok Sabha and local bodies polls will be rewarded with cabinet berths,” the sources explained..

After dethroning the 10-year old BRS government in Assembly polls held in November 2023, the Congress formed the government in Telangana for the first time on December 7. Revanth Reddy and 11 ministers took oath at LB Stadium on December 7. Since then, speculations surfaced several times that there would be cabinet expansion anytime but it did not materialise as the party high command was focussed on the Lok Sabha polls.

At present, old Khammam district has the highest representation, with three ministers — Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and Tummala Nageshwar Rao — coming from the district. Erstwhile united Nalgonda, Warangal and Karimnagar districts are represented by two ministers. Nalgonda is represented by N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Warangal is represented by Konda Surekha and Danasari Anasuya (Seethakka), while Karimnagar is represented by Ponnam Prabhakar and Duddilla Sridhar Babu. Old Medak district has the sole representation of Damodar Rajanarasimha.

In Hyderabad district, there is no MLA from the Congress and the party might consider MLAs from the BRS for the Cabinet berth if they join the Congress. From Rangareddy, senior Congress MLAs T. Ram Mohan Reddy (Parigi) and Malreddy Ranga Reddy (Ibrahimpatnam) are in the race for cabinet berth.

The Chief Minister is also planning to hold the Legislative Assembly session in July-end or early-August to present a full budget for 2024-25. The Assembly passed vote-on-account or interim budget for 2024-25 in February in view of Lok Sabha polls. The CM plans to expand the cabinet before the Assembly session.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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