Hyderabad, Oct 28: The induction of five new faces from Andhra Pradesh in the union cabinet and the elevation of a minister of state to the cabinet rank has disappointed many senior MPs of the Congress from the state.
MP from Amlapuram in coastal Andhra, Harsha Kumar criticized the party’s central leadership for ignoring the senior leaders. He alleged that those working for the party were ignored while others were included.
Without naming anyone, Harsha Kumar also remarked that the sitting ministers had done nothing for the party.
Miffed over being ignored, senior leader from coastal Andhra and Eluru MP, Kavuri Sambasiva Rao Saturday sent in his resignation to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Sambasiva Rao’s supporters Sunday staged a protest in Eluru over the party ignoring the five-time MP.
MP from Guntur, Rayapati Sambasiva Rao also voiced his unhappiness over the raw deal to the senior leaders. He said he would announce his future course of action after consulting his supporters.
Secunderabad MP, Anjan Kumar Yadav is also reportedly unhappy over the party ignoring him for a cabinet berth. State minister Danam Nagender said it was unfortunate that the Secunderabad MP was not included in the cabinet.
With the induction of five, the number of central ministers from Andhra Pradesh has gone up to 10, the highest in the state’s history.
Member of Rajya Sabha K. Chiranjeevi, who had merged his Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress last year, has been made minister of state with independent charge. Four others inducted as ministers are Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy, Sarve Satyanarayana, Porika Balram Naik and Killi Kruparani.
Minister of state Pallam Raju has also been elevated to the cabinet rank.
The portfolios of some sitting ministers have been changed. Minister of state D. Purandareswari, daughter of TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao, was not elevated to cabinet rank, though there were indications to that effect for last couple of days. However, she was assigned commerce and industries portfolio, instead of human resources development.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy thanked Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for giving highest priority and many opportunities to the state.
He greeted the new ministers from the state and hoped that they would serve the country in general and Andhra Pradesh in particular in their new capacities.
Main opposition Telugu Desam Party described the cabinet rejig as a desperate attempt by the Congress party to woo people. TDP leader N. Rajkumari said the move showed the Congress was worried over the ongoing “padyatra” of party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu.