Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh:
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh, four legislators of the opposition YSRC who switched loyalty to the ruling TDP-BJP coalition, and six others were inducted today into the Andhra Pradesh cabinet. This is the first reorganisation of the state council since the government was formed on June 8, 2014. Governor ESL Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers. The cabinet’s strength has now increased to 26.
Nara Lokesh was elected to the state legislative council under the MLAs’ quota last month. The 34-year-old graduate from Stanford Business School is the general secretary of TDP. Mr Lokesh’s mother Bhuvaneswari and wife Brahmini were present during the ceremony.
At 28, Bhuma Akhila Priya has become the youngest member of Mr Naidu’s cabinet. Her father, Bhuma Nagi Reddy, who also switched sides, died last month.
TDP leader and state unit president K Kala Venkata, who had earlier served as home minister in the NT Rama Rao government in united Andhra Pradesh, was inducted into the cabinet while his sister-in-law Kimidi Mrinalini was dropped.
TDP politburo member S Chandramohan Reddy, Pithani Satyanarayana, who had quit Congress to join TDP, Kalva Srinivasulu and Kothapalli Samuel Jawahar, among others, have got cabinet berths as well.
Since February 2016, 21 out of the 67 MLAs of the YSRC have crossed over to the TDP.
Soon after the cabinet rejig, Bojjala Gopala Krishna Reddy, one of the five dropped ministers, resigned from the state assembly. The veteran Telugu Desam Party or TDP leader from Chittoor sent his resignation to Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao and Mr Naidu.
The YSRC had alleged that they were offered ministerial berths. Besides, Mr Reddy, Palle Raghunatha Reddy, Kimidi Mrinalini, Peethala Sujatha and Ravela Kishore Babu were dropped from the cabinet.