AP cabinet to be expanded, 2 members to be inducted
The Andhra Pradesh state cabinet will be expanded on Sunday with the inclusion of two new members, filling the vacancies caused by the resignation of two BJP members in March, TDP sources said Saturday.
Senior legislator N Mohammed Farooq, who is currently the chairman of the state legislative council, would be inducted into the Chandrababu Naidu cabinet along with Kidari Sravan Kumar, son of slain MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao, party sources said.
Farooq served as a minister earlier in the cabinets of Telugu Desam Party founder N T Rama Rao and, later, Naidu.
Five days short of a year in office, Farooq resigned from the Council chairman post on Saturday afternoon, ahead of his induction into the Cabinet.
Sravan, an engineering graduate, will be making his political debut after his father was killed by Maoists in Araku area recently. He is not a member of either House, but Naidu has promised to field him from Araku Valley constituency in the 2019 election.
The Cabinet, which was constituted on June 8, 2014, was first reconstituted in April 2017 by dropping five ministers and inducting 11 new members -- including the chief minister's son, Lokesh, and four members of the YSR Congress who defected to the TDP.
The chief minister held talks with the minority and Scheduled Tribe leaders of the party on Saturday ahead of the expansion.
Talking to reporters here, the two said they had understood the compulsions of Naidu and were "not unhappy" over the denial of a Cabinet berth. "Anyway, the elections are due in five-six months, so it doesn't really matter if you are made a minister or not," said Khan, who is the chairman of the state wakf board.
Basha will now be made the government whip in the assembly, in the vacancy caused by the death of Kidari Sarveswara Rao.
Meanwhile, TDP sources said senior leader Shariff Mohammed Ahmed was being elevated to the Council chairman post. Naidu himself conveyed the news to Shariff, who is currently the government whip in the Council. PTI DBV ROH
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