The move by the Congress to induct five parliamentarians from Andhra Pradesh into the Manmohan Singh ministry is been seen as aimed at addressing the complex political situation in the state where the party won 31 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Among the five is Pallam Raju, who has been made the human resource development minister in Singh’s cabinet. Earlier, Raju was the junior defence minister.
Sources in the Congress said the party was not immediately considering the formation of a separate Telangana. It will, instead, explore other political options to quell disturbances in the state, the sources added.
The party tried to maintain the regional fine-balance among coastal Andhra, Rayalseema and Telangana while inducting two new ministers from Andhra Pradesh.
Sarve Satyanarayana and P Balram Naik have been chosen from the Telangana region while Kruparani Killi, K Cheeranjivi and Pallam Raju represent coastal Andhra and K Surya Prakash Reddy is from Rayalseema.
The induction of K Surya Prakash Reddy, son of late Congress chief minister Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy, is seen as a strategy to appease Reddy voters, many of whom are thought to have shifted their allegiance to Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress.
Congress MP Madhu Goud Yaskhi, however, rejected possibilities of the reshuffle affecting the ground situation in the state: “The agitation for Telangana was not started by the Congress. It is a people’s movement and these cosmetic measures will not have any impact.”