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AP cabinet to be expanded, 2 members to be inducted


PTI Last Updated at 10-11-2018 17:30:34 IST India

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.

The two are being inducted into the Cabinet under the minority and the tribal quota as the two communities did not have any representation so far, they said.

Governor E S L Narasimhan would administer the oath of office and secrecy to the two new ministers at 11.45 am on Sunday at the Grievance Hall in Undavalli.

Farooq served as a minister earlier in the cabinets of Telugu Desam Party founder N T Rama Rao and, later, Naidu.

He had also served as a deputy speaker of a united Andhra Pradesh assembly, but lost all the elections since 2004. He was nominated to the Council in July 2017 and made its chairman in November.

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 expansion now could be the final one as the assembly elections are just months away.

The chief minister held talks with the minority and Scheduled Tribe leaders of the party on Saturday ahead of the expansion.

He also reportedly placated the two Muslim MLAs who aspired for a Cabinet berth. Jaleel Khan and Chand Basha had defected to the TDP from YSRC in 2016.

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

HMB

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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