Andhra cabinet rejig triggers dissidence in TDP

Posted April 03, 2017

Lokesh, the only son of Naidu, was elected to the state legislative council in March.

Former Andhra forest minister Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy on Sunday resigned from the post of Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) after Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu dropped him and four other ministers from his cabinet.

This reshuffle and expansion of the Cabinet is the first one after it was sworn-in on June 8, 2014.

The other ministers who took oath were Kalva Srinivasulu (Anantapur district), N. Anandbabu (Guntur), Sujay Krishna Ranga Rao (Vijayanagaram) and K.S. Jawahar (West Godavari).

Along with Lokesh, about 10 new faces are likely to be inducted into the cabinet, after shunting out at least four ministers for their poor performance or involvement in controversies. But when he inducted his son into the Cabinet and made it clear that the party would contest in the 2019 Assembly elections with this 26-member Cabinet, Naidu is sending clear signals that Lokesh will lead the party in the next polls.

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No defector has been disqualified from the Assembly in either state, with the cases of the Andhra defectors pending before the Speaker while the Telangana defectors have been recognised as members of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi. Five ministers had dropped ahead of the expansion.

MPs Kesineni Srinivas and Konakalla Narayana tried to pacify Bonda but the latter remained firm on his decision.

'Admitting the MLAs who won the 2014 election on YSRC ticket into the TDP, by purchasing them, itself is degenerative, ' he said.

Rama Subba Reddy, senior TDP leader from Jammalamadugu in Kadapa, strongly opposed the inclusion of Adinarayana Reddy in the Cabinet and threatened to quit the party.

At 34, Lokesh is the second youngest minister in the AP Cabinet while Deputy Chief Minister (Revenue) K E Krishna Murthy, aged 79, is the oldest. Her father, Bhuma Nagi Reddy, who also switched sides, died last month. Besides, Mr Reddy, Palle Raghunatha Reddy, Kimidi Mrinalini, Peethala Sujatha and Ravela Kishore Babu were dropped from the cabinet.

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