AP Cabinet Reshuffle On April 6, Lokesh To Get In

DARA GOPI

Amaravati: The date is almost set for Telugu Desam Party national general secretary Nara Lokesh to get into the State Cabinet. According to the party sources, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had fixed April 6 as the day to see his son swearing-in as the Cabinet Minister.

Lokesh, who got elected to the Legislative Council from the Assembly quota recently, would take oath as MLC onMarch 30. He would sit in the Council for two days, as both Assembly and Council are set for adjournment onMarch 31 after the budget session. With these two days of experience in the Legislative Council, Lokesh would get into the State Cabinet on April 6.

Though the Chief Minister wanted to have his Cabinet reshuffle for Ugadi falling on March 29, he is understood to have differed as Assembly session is in progress. He wanted to give enough time for his son to understand the Ministerial responsibilities before making him face the Opposition in both the Houses. So, Chandrababu Naidu had zeroed in on April 6 for his son’s elevation as that would give him enough time to understand the Cabinet politics and responsibilities. He would be then ready to face the Assembly and Council in the summer session or the monsoon session.

Interestingly, the Congress is set to lose its Opposition status in the Legislative Council on March 30 when the sitting MLCs, including Leader of Opposition C Ramachandraiah retires. The YSR Congress is set to take over the Council too as the main Opposition in both the Houses. This would make the ruling party’s task of handling the Opposition easy as YSR Congress occupies the place.

Meanwhile, the rumours say that the Chief Minister had decided to drop at least half a dozen Ministers from his Cabinet and bring in at least a dozen new faces including Lokesh. Among the new faces, TDP AP president K Kalavenkatrao tops the list followed by Bhuma Akhila Priya. However, it is to be seen how Chandrababu Naidu would induct Akhila Priya into the Cabinet as his party’s Telangana unit is opposed to the inclusion of Talasani Srinivasa Yadav in the TS Cabinet. The Telangana TDP chief L Ramana had renewed his party’s demand for disqualification of 11 of TDP legislators who have switched over to the ruling TRS.

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