Jagan Reddy appoints Dalit woman as home minister of Andhra Pradesh
After appointing five deputy chief ministers, YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy sprang another surprise on Saturday by naming a Dalit woman as the home minister of the state.
Mekathoti Sucharita, who represents Prathipadu (SC) reserved constituency in Guntur district, was sworn in as a cabinet minister, along with 24 others at a glittering ceremony held on the lawns of state secretariat at Velagapudi in Amaravati.
Governor E S L Narasimhan administered oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at the ceremony which commenced at 11.49 am. The chief minister allotted portfolios to the newly-inducted ministers later in the day.
Sucharita is the first woman home minister in the residuary Andhra Pradesh state formed in 2014, afterTelangana was carved out.
Jagan apparently got the inspiration from his father and chief minister of combined Andhra Pradesh late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy who had inducted, for the first time in the history of the state, a woman home minister – P Sabita Indra Reddy. She is now an MLA with Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
In an unprecedented move, Jagan already announced designation of five of his cabinet colleagues as deputy chief ministers and allotted them with important portfolios. They are: Pamula Pushpa Sri Vani (tribal welfare), Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose (revenue, stamps and registration), Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas alias Alla Nani (health, family welfare and medical education), K Narayana Swamy (Excise and Prohibition), Amzad Basha Sheik Bepari (Minority welfare).
Senior MLA and former Public Accounts Committee chairman Buggana Rajendranath Reddy was given the most important portfolio of finance, planning and legislative affairs.
There are a total of three women in the cabinet including Sucharita, Pusha Sri Vani and Taneti Vanitha (women development and child welfare).
Eleven of the ministers are from forward castes, seven from other backward classes, five from Scheduled Castes and one each from ST and minority communities in the cabinet. There are only four from Reddy community --- Balineni Srinivasa Reddy (Ongole), Mekapati Gowtham Reddy (Atmakuru), Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy (Punganur), and Buggana Rajendra Nath Reddy (Done).
Coastal Andhra got major share in the cabinet. East and West Godavari and Krishna districts got three berths each. Vizianagaram, Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Chittoor and Kurnool got two each.
Jagaan’s native Kadapa district got one berth. Srikakulam and Anantapur also got one each.