Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Wednesday inducted 39 ministers, retaining as many as 28 from the outgoing cabinet, including six whom the opposition has branded as being among seven scam-tainted politicians in the state.
Among those dropped from K Rosaiah’s outgoing cabinet are four staunch supporters of breakaway leader Jaganmohan Reddy.
To supplement Jaganmohan’s uncle Vivekananda Reddy’s efforts to take on the rebel leader in their native Kadapa district, Kiran Reddy brought in the Late YS Rajasekhara Rao’s bete noire and former minister DL Ravindra Reddy.
Ravindra Reddy, who was marginalised by YSR during his six years as chief minister, has over the past few months been running a campaign to expose the allegedly corrupt deals of the YSR regime.
But Jaganmohan’s move to quit the Congress just before the formation of the new cabinet seems to have affected the selection of ministers in the new government.
Many controversial ministers who were about to be axed in a reshuffle by previous chief minister K Rosaiah have been retained by Kiran Reddy.
Sources in the state Congress said Kiran Reddy wanted to start with a clean slate and had secured the party high command’s permission to drop at least six controversial ministers of the previous regime, apart from the four Jagan loyalists.
But the Jagan revolt and subsequent attempts by his group to win over disgruntled legislators from the Congress and other parties, seem to have put paid to that plan.
“In keeping with the new trend after the landslide victory of Nitish Kumar in Bihar, the chief minister wanted to give the state a good administration with an emphasis on delivery. He wanted an untainted team and had secured the go-ahead from the top. But the situation changed in the next 24 hours as Jagan resigned from the party. So the plan has been put in abeyance for the time being,” said an MLA who couldn’t make it to the new cabinet.