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Jagan's Uncle Joins New AP Cabinet

PTI 01 Dec 2010, 17:02:07 IST
Hyderabad, Dec 1: The political split in the family of late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was complete today when his brother Y S Vivekananda Reddy was inducted into the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet, which saw new Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy dropping five ministers of the previous government.

A total of 39 ministers, including 7 new faces,  were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor E S L Narasimhan at a simple ceremony here  a week after Kiran Reddy took over reigns of office on Nov 25 in  sudden political changes  in the state.

Vivekananda, younger brother of the late Chief Minister, broke with his nephew Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and met with Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Delhi week, and has been rewarded for his loyalty.

Yesterday he had met Jagan in Kadapa and is reported to have had heated exchange of words when he told him that his decision to remain in Congress was final.  60-year-old Vivekananda is a member of the state Legislative Council.

As expected, two staunch loyalists of Jagan,  who quit the Congress as well as his Lok Sabha seat two days ago, were among those dropped.

The AP Council of Ministers now has 40 members, including the Chief Minister, and has four more slots that could be filled. Congress sources said a Cabinet expansion could take place in "due course of time".

"It could be Congress or Praja Rajyam Party that could fill the vacant slots depending on the political scenario," a top Congress leader remarked.

Senior leaders K Jana Reddy, D L Ravindra Reddy, Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy and P Shankar Rao have made a comeback into the Cabinet while another senior leader Gade Venkata Reddy was dropped.

Another senior MLA and former minister J C Diwakar Reddy, who had strong hopes of returning to the Cabinet at least this time, has been left out. He had made it to the state Assembly for the first time in 1985 and since then never lost an election.

Diwakar Reddy  had previously served as a minister in the Cabinets of four Chief Ministers, including the first term of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy between 2004 and 2009. He was denied a Cabinet berth in 2009 by Rajasekhara Reddy and even his successor K Rosaiah could not accommodate him. PTI