Analysis | Congress high command has firm control over Telangana Cabinet composition


 Congress leader A. Revanth Reddy takes oath as the Chief Minister of Telangana, in Hyderabad on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.

Congress leader A. Revanth Reddy takes oath as the Chief Minister of Telangana, in Hyderabad on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.

The Congress high command’s firm grip over the composition of the Council of Ministers was virtually visible at the swearing in of the Ministers on Thursday.

The Revanth Reddy-led Congress government is a team of experienced leaders with perfect caste balance, recognition to the weaker sections and women. Of the 11 Ministers, at least eight of them have previously worked in various governments and handled key portfolios. The strength of the Telangana Council of Ministers can be a maximum of 18, including the Chief Ministers.

Interestingly, Mr. Revanth Reddy and Deputy Chief Minister Bhatti Vikramarka Mallu have not served as Ministers. Mr. Bhatti was the Chief Whip in the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government. While Mr. Revanth Reddy will be the face of the government, the other Cabinet colleagues are equally experienced to guide him through.

C. Damodar Raj Narasimha, N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, Duddilla Sridhar Babu, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Konda Surekha and Jupally Krishna Rao were Ministers in the previous Congress governments headed by late Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, K. Rosaiah and N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. Mr. Tummala Nageswara Rao was a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Minister in N. Chandrababu Naidu governments in combined Andhra Pradesh.

Mr. Bhatti, Dhanasari Anusuya (Seethakka), Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and Ponnam Prabhakar are first time Ministers. Interestingly, three turncoats — Mr. Ponguleti, Mr. Tummala, and Mr. Jupally — who joined the Congress from the Bharat Rashtra Samiti and won the seats have been inducted into the Cabinet.

The Congress leadership has rewarded Mr. Ponguleti and Mr. Tummala for single-handedly ensuring near clean sweep of the party in old Khammam district. The party also took ample care not to rub the seniors such as Mr. Bhatti, Mr. Uttam, Mr. Komatireddy, Damodar Raj Narasimha, and Sridhar Babu on the wrong side. At least Mr. Uttam, Mr. Bhatti and, if sources are to be believed, Mr. Babu had evinced interest in taking a shot at the top post.

For the first time, dominant Munnuru Kapu community fails to get representation as Ponnam Prabhakar (Goud) and Konda Surekha (Padmasali) got the Cabinet berth. Among the SCs the balance is maintained by Mr. Bhatti, a SC Mala, and Mr. Narasimha, SC Madiga. Ms. Anusuya, an ST Koya Adivasi and a close aide of Mr. Revanth Reddy, got her maiden chance.

Among the OCs, the Reddys got a chunk of Cabinet berths with Mr. Revanth, Mr. Uttam, Mr. Komatireddy and Mr. Ponguleti becoming Chief Minister and Ministers. Other OC Ministers are Mr. Babu (Brahmin) and Mr. Jupally (Velama).

‘Not a single man show’

True to the words of the AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal that the government would not be a single man show, the Council of Ministers proves that every senior in the Cabinet has equal responsibility. Loyalty and commitment of seniors has been recognised.

Still six more Cabinet berths have to be filled. The party might consider inducting one member from the minority community. The two Muslim candidates – Md. Ali Shabbir and Feroze Khan — lost the recent Assembly election. But, indications are that one of them will be taken into the Legislative Council as an MLC and made a Minister.

Speculation is rife that first-timers might get a chance to get into the Cabinet. Districts such as Nizamabad, Kamareddy and Adilabad, which sent a good number of Congress MLAs may also get a chance in the next round of expansion.


Mohd Aman

Editor in Chief Approved by Indian Government

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