Hyderabad, Feb 19 (IANS) After keeping everybody guessing for more than two months, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Tuesday expanded his cabinet by inducting 10 ministers but kept the key portfolios of finance and revenue with himself.
Etela Rajender, who was Finance Minister in the previous cabinet, was now allocated medical, health and family welfare. The portfolios of three other ministers, who were part of the previous cabinet, were also changed.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, has also not allocated the portfolios of industry, information technology, urban development and municipal administration held by his son K.T. Rama Rao in the previous ministry. Rama Rao, who is now Working President of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), has not been inducted.
The TRS chief has also not allocated irrigation portfolio which was with his nephew T. Harish Rao in the previous cabinet. He too did not find a cabinet berth in the first expansion.
G. Jagadish Reddy, who was Energy Minister in the previous cabinet, has now been made Education Minister. Energy is also among the unallocated portfolios which will all remain with the Chief Minister.
A. Indrakaran Reddy and T. Srinivas Yadav are the other ministers who retained their cabinet berths. Among the first-timers, KCR has allocated transport to V. Prashanth Reddy, prohibition and excise to V. Srinivas Goud, panchayat raj and rural development to E. Dayakar Rao, agriculture to S. Niranjan Reddy, Scheduled Caste development and tribal, BC and minority welfare to Koppula Eshwar and labour and employment to Malla Reddy.
Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan administered oath of office and secrecy to the ministers at a ceremony held at Raj Bhavan.
There is no woman among the newly-inducted ministers. The previous TRS ministry also had no representation for women, drawing flak from various quarters.
Meanwhile, Harish Rao said he was not unhappy over not getting cabinet berth. He told reporters that he would continue to work as a disciplined worker of the party, obeying the directions of KCR.
This was the first cabinet expansion by KCR, who took over as the Chief Minister for a second term on December 13. Mohammed Mahmood Ali was the only minister who was sworn in along with Rao. He was allocated the key home portfolio.
The cabinet can have strength of 18 including the Chief Minister. Another cabinet expansion is likely after the Lok Sabha elections.