KCR makes ministry sans women

  • Adds 6 new but old faces
  • Half of them former ministers
  • Most of the new are recent converts
  • Takes care of vocal, majority sections
  • Malas given short shrift, despite protests
  • Reddys, Valamas are more than 50 percent in Cabinet
  • Plays caste card shrewdly
  • Tummala get R & B, Jupalli Industry, Laxmareddy Power

(K.Kaushik)

Hyderabad, December 16: Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) has played his cards extremely carefully in expanding his cabinet. With the inclusion of six ministers on Tuesday, the strength of the Cabinet reached the maximum permitted level of 18. Not more than15 percent of the strength of the Assembly can constitute the Cabinet. In order to circumvent this rule, the CM has taken some Parliamentary Secretaries who are as good as deputy ministers.

Tummala Nageswara Rao (Khammam) who is not a member of legislature now, Allolla Indrakran Reddy (Adilabad), Talasani Srinivasa Yadav (Sanat Nagar from Hyderabad), Dr cherlakala Laxma Reddy (Jedcherla from Mahaboobnagar district), Ajmeer Chandulal (Mulugu from Warnagal district) and Jupalli Krishna Rao (Kollapur from Mahaboobnagar district) were sworn in today as ministers by Governor ESL Narasimhan in that order.

After the cabinet meeting in the afternoon, CM has announced the portfolios of new minister. Tummala Nageswara Rao was goven the responsibility of Roads & Buildings and Child Welfare. Allola Indrakaran Reddy was entrusted with Housing, Law and Endowment. Charnakola Laxma Reddy was asked to handle the very critical portfolio of Power, Ajmeera Chandulal was given Tribal Welfare, Tourism and Culture while Jupalli Krishna Rao was made minister for Industries. Padmarao was given additional responsibility of Sports and Youth Services and Jogu Ramanna was also asekd to look after Backward Classes Welfare.

Of the new ministesr three are recent converts and all the three are fomer ministers. Tummala Nageswara Rao, Talasani Srinivasa Yadav and Indrakaran Reddy have joined ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) a few months ago. While Indrakaran jumped on the TRS bandwagon days before the elections, Yadav and Rao joined well after the formation of Telangana. In fact, Talasani, who joined the ruling party less than a month ago, had to take a decision on his resignation to the membership of the Assembly, which he won on the TDP ticket, hours before swearing in. He resigned to his position of an MLA before going to Raj Bhavan for swearing in.

Among the ministers, as many as seven are those who were not there in TRS party from the beginning. Jogu Ramanna, Mahender Reddy, Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy, Jupalli Krishna Rao, Tummala Nageswara Rao, Talasani Srinivasa Yadav and Chandulal have joined the party recently.

KCR has kept his faith with majority and dominant sections of the society. He gave excessive representation to Reddy community which comprises almost one third of the strength of the Cabinet. There are six ministers belonging to this community- Nayani Narasimha Reddy, Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy, Laxma Reddy, Jagadeswara Reddy, Mahender Reddy and Indrakaran Reddyl. Even then most of the powerful Reddy politicians are with the Congress. It remains to be seen if this community would be satisfied with the representation it got in the Cabinet.

The next slot went to Velama community which has a very small but powerful presence in the State. Besides Chief Minister KCR, his son K Taraka Rama Rao, nephew T Harish Rao, Jupalli Krishna Rao, who took oath today, also belongs to the Velama community. This community does not constitute even 0.5 percent of the population but has occupied more than 20 percent of the cabinet. Same is the case with the Reddy community. They are hardly six percent of the population but they occupy 33 percent of the Cabinet space.

The Schedule Castes which are almost 18 percent of the population were given a raw deal in comparison. The Madigas make almost 60 percent of the SC population in Telangana while the Malas constitute about 35 percent. While the majority SC community, Madigas, was taken care of by the inclusion of Dr Rajaiah from Warangal in the very first instance as deputy chief minister, the denial of Cabinet berth to Koppula Eswar did not go well with the Mala community. There were demonstrations by Mala Mahanadu before the TRS office on Monday demanding inclusion of Eswar in the Cabinet. KCR has given importance only to the majority community among the SCs.

Inclusion of Chandulal from Warangal district also is in line with the majoritarian theory being followed by KCR. Chandulal is from Lambadas, the most forward and upwardly mobile of the Scheduled Tribes. Other tribes which are less or under developed were not favoured.

Backward Classes who form the bulk of the population also received fairly good representation. Even there, only the vocal and powerful among the BCs were thought of. While Finance Minister Etala Rajendra is a Mudiraj, Jogu Ramanna a Munnur Kapu, Padmarao a Goud, Talasani Srinivas Yadav is a Yadava. The rest of the BC communities which remained remote in power politics were not given any representation.

Mahmood Ali, the deputy chief minister, is the lone representative of the minority community for which KCR promises 12 percent reservations in education and employment.

The most glaring aspect of the ministry making by a seasoned politician, KCR, is the complete omission of women who constitute more than 50 percent of the population. One would have thought of prominent women members like Konda Surekha to be included in the Cabinet. The name of Sunita also made the rounds. But ultimately they were given short shrift. This blatant discrimination will distance women from the government. This is not only unjust but unwise. Contrast this to the Cabinet of YS Rajasekhara Reddy who had more than half a dozen women ministers and, to top it all, he made a woman Home Minister. Politicians learn no lessons from others. They seldom take advice from others. It is particularly so with a politician like KCR who is known for his unilateral way of decision making.

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