The Andhra Pradesh ministry was on Thursday expanded with the induction of two Praja Rajyam Party legislators, raising the strength of the state Council of Ministers to 39.
State governor ESL Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Ganta Srinivasa Rao, a member of the Legislative Assembly, and C Ramachandraiah, a member of the Legislative Council, at a brief function in the Raj Bhavan.
With the induction of these two, the strength of the state Cabinet rose to 39, including the Chief Minister.
However, five slots still remain vacant in the state Cabinet even after today's expansion.
The chief minister, PRP chief and Tirupati MLA K Chiranjeevi, PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana and a host of other leaders were present at the ceremony.
Both Ganta and Ramachandraiah previously served as members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively on behalf of the Telugu Desam Party.
Ganta was elected to the Assembly from Chodavaram constituency in Visakhapatnam district in 2009 while Ramachandraiah was elected to the Council in March 2011.
The chief minister had to accommodate Ramachandraiah in the Council of Ministers despite stiff opposition to his entry from several leaders of the Congress, including those from Kadapa district.
For Ramachandraiah, it would be a second stint as minister as he had previously served in the Cabinet of then Chief Minister N T Rama Rao in the mid-1980s.
Though the Praja Rajyam Party merged with the ruling Congress in August, the technical formality in this regard has not yet been completed inside the Legislature.
As such, the PRP continues to be recognised as a separate political entity.