KCR’s shock treatment to Health Minister

  • Drops from the Cabinet, inducts Srihari in a jiffy
  • Kadiam is deputy CM with education portfolio
  • jagadeeshwar Reddy was shifted to power
  • Medical & Health was given to Laxma Reddy

Hyderabad, January 25: While Delhi kept all the national and regional TV news channels busy with the visit of US President Barak Obama. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) kept Telugu language news channels on tenterhooks with his electrifying move to sack his deputy Dr Rajaiah who holds health portfolio. The announcement of his removal was quickly followed by Governor ESL Narasimhan administering oath to Warangal MP and former minister Kadiam Srihari as minister in place of the sacked leader. KCR and some other ministers were present at Rajbhavan on Sunday afternoon witnessing the simple function. Since both are Dalit leaders from the same district, Warangal, and the same constituency, Station Ghanpur, the equations in the party and the ministry would stay intact. Dr Rajaiah and Srihari defeated each other in earlier elections. While Rajaiah is a Madiga, Srihari belong to Bindla subcaste in Madiga. Dr Rajaiah did his medicine and Srihari is a veterinary graduate.

KCR’s hand was forced by the events that unfolded during the last week. The Swine Flu that has been rampant was not taken seriously by the Medical and Health department. The chief minister had plunged into activity, called the prime minister, health ministers and others in Delhi asking for immediate relief. The Centre had sent a 3-member team. In the meanwhile, there were allegations of corruption against the top officers of the department. The case was referred to intelligence department and CBCID. It is reported that the officers in the ministry were found guilty. There have been adverse reports in the media implicating Rajaiah on a number of counters. It was evident for some days that the axe was going to fall on the doctor-politicians who has been with KCR throughout the movement. Rajaiah said he would continue to serve the party. He does not have the clout to rebel against the party leadership. He has to grin and bear it.

Kadiam has to resign from his membership of Lok Sabha which he won in May 2014 and become an MLC. He was part of TDP cabinet led by Chandrababu Naidu for almost two terms. He handled irrigation portfolio during the TDP regime. There will be speculation on the TRS candidate to fight by-election for the LS seat. That, however, can wait. Immediately, KCR has affected changes in the portfolios giving a shock treatment to his cabinet colleague Jagadeeswar Reddy who was on a visit to England. Kadiam Srihari was designated Deputy Chief Minister incharge of education, so far held by Jagadeeswar Reddy, MLA from Suryapet in Nalgonda district. Jagadeesh was given power sector and the medical and health portfolio was shifted to Laxma Reddy.

Influx from the TDP into the TRS and the ministry has increased in recent times. Kadiam Srihari was the latest to inter into the cabinet. He along with Tummala Nageswara Rao and Talasani Srinivasa Yadav has joined the ruling party recently and promptly became ministers. Others like Mahender Reddy, Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy, Jogu Ramanna, Indra Kiran Reddy and Jupally Krishna Rao did not participate in Telangana movement launched by KCR in 2001. Some of them were outright anti-movement and got many TRS workers beaten up by the police. Some others defeated the TRS candidates in the last general elections. Out of the 18 members in the cabinet, including the chief minister, almost half of them were not part of Telangana movement which resulted a separate state of Telangana. However, all the leaders who crossed over to TRS to join the cabinet were colleagues of KCR in the TDP government where he handled transport portfolio and was deputy Speaker before he left the party to launch the separatist outfit.

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