Jagan Mohan springs a surprise with 5 Dy CMs, 30-month term for ministers formula
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy told legislators that he will form a full-fledged cabinet with 25 ministers on Saturday.
In an unprecedented move, YSR Congress party president and newly elected Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced on Friday that five deputy chief ministers will be sworn in with the rest of the Cabinet on June 8.
The five will each represent a community or marginalised group: Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Classes, Muslims, and the Kapu community.
Addressing a meeting of the party legislature at his residence, which also doubles as the party headquarters in Tadepalli, Amaravati, Reddy said that the Cabinet, whose full strength is 25, will take oath on Saturday.
“Five of them will be designated as deputy chief ministers, each of whom will represent SC, ST, OBC, minority and Kapu community,” he said.
The Kapus are a politically influential community, and constitute 15.2% of the state’s population. In the recent state elections held simultaneously with the general elections, there were apprehensions that Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan, who is from the community, may split votes. However, YSRC won 27 out of 34 seats in East and West Godavari districts, which are considered the Kapu belt.
Signalling his intent to ensure social justice to marginalised communities, he further announced that 50% of the cabinet berths would also be filled up with legislators from SC, ST, OBC and minority communities. What’s more, the cabinet will be re-shuffled in 30 months, and 90% of them would make way for new appointees, he said.
The party, however, remained mum on the names of the lawmakers in the cabinet. “Those who are selected for the cabinet will be intimated individually by party general secretary V Vijay Sai Reddy by evening,” Reddy said.
However, the list of legislators who would be sworn in was out on Friday. Some of the notable names included former Pradesh Congress Committe president Botsa Satyanarayana, Alla Ramakrishna Reddy (who defeated Nara Lokesh, son of former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu), and former Public Accounts Committee chairman Buggana Rajendranath Reddy.
The Governor would administer oath of office and secrecy to all the 25 ministers in the Secretariat in Amaravati at 11.49am.
The appointment of five deputy chief ministers in a state cabinet is certainly unorthodox. Telugu Desam Party president and former AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had two — Nimmakayala Chinna Rajappa and KE Krishna Murthy — who held the portfolios of home and revenue, respectively.
In Telangana, too, Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had two deputies in his previous term – Mohammad Mahmood Ali and Kadiyam Srihari, who held home and higher education portfolios.
“I am going to reshuffle the cabinet after two and a half years and 90 per cent of the present ministers will have to quit paving way for another set of ministers. So, those who get disappointed by not getting a berth in the cabinet, will get a chance to become the ministers after two and a half years. By doing so, I want to ensure that all the deserving MLAs will get a chance,” he said.
According to Osmania University professor K Nageshwar, the appointment of five deputies indicated that none of them would gain the significance that a single deputy CM would have as the second-in-command in the state.
“They might just be ornamental posts. Had there been only one deputy CM post, he would have got the recognition as No. 2 in the cabinet,” he said.