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Andhra chief minister to expand cabinet on May 25

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy said he would expand his cabinet May 25 but ruled out appointing a deputy chief minister.

india Updated: May 21, 2009 15:00 IST

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy on Thursday said he would expand his cabinet May 25 but ruled out appointing a deputy chief minister.

YSR, who took oath as the chief minister for the second consecutive term Wednesday evening, said he would induct ministers in his cabinet May 25 and promised to give proper representation to all regions.

He was speaking at a meet-the-press programme organised by Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists.

He ruled out appointing a deputy chief minister as suggested by a section of party leaders from Telangana before the elections.

YSR, who led the party to a comfortable majority of 156 seats in the 294-member assembly and bagged 33 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, also ruled out a role for himself in national politics. "My rule is limited to the state," he said.

To another query about the central cabinet, the chief minister said Congress was not a regional party to demand its pound of flesh. "If need be, we will have to make certain adjustments," he said to a query if he was keen to get some key portfolios for the state in the central cabinet.

YSR evaded a direct reply when a reporter asked him if the verdict was against bifurcation of the state. "The party which has come up in the name of Telangana (Telangana Rashtra Samiti) had not fared well in these elections. There is a leadership crisis in that party," he said.

He said Telangana sentiment was there in some areas of the region and hinted that the issue of separate state was created by TRS leader K. Chandrasekhara Rao. "If Chandrasekhara Rao was accommodated in the Chandrababu Naidu cabinet in 1999, he would not have formed the TRS," he remarked.

Claiming that Congress was not against carving out a separate Telangana, he said the party was for addressing the issues likely to arise by the creation of separate state.

Stating that welfare and development were the two focus areas of his government, the chief minister said it would continue the programmes taken up during last five years more efficiently.

"We won this election because of our credibility and courage. We never hesitated in spending money to meet people's needs. We made no new promises but said we will continue what we were doing for last five years. People trusted us and not the opposition which made deceptive promises," he said.

"Chandrababu Naidu, during his nine-year rule, had said that there are no free lunches. He opposed free electricity to agriculture and collected user charges in hospitals. But in this election he promised all for free," added YSR.

First Published: May 21, 2009 14:58 IST