Hyderabad: The biggest representation statewise in the Cabinet reshuffle on Sunday was perhaps from Andhra Pradesh. Five new faces have been inducted into the Cabinet including two from the Telangana region. Meanwhile, Pallam Raju, who has been the minister of state for defence since 2006, has been elevated to the cabinet rank. The question is whether this move was to placate the demands of a separate statehood.
For the state Congress leaders, it is a reason for much cheer, giving them better representation ahead of the 2014 poll campaign. While for the Congress high command, it is possibly the best way to tide over the Telangana sparring in its state unit.
Two of the new faces are from Telangana, Sarve Satyanarayana and Balram Naik, both of whom, political observers say, have been rewarded for being loyal to the party and not embarrassing it on the Telangana issue. The other three inducted members come from Andhra and Rayalseema - Kotla Surya Prakash Reddy, a 3-time MP and son of former CM K Vijaybhaskar Reddy, Kruparani Killi, a first time MP and belonging to backward Kalinga subcaste and actor-turned politician Chiranjeevi, who merged his party Prajarajyam with the Congress.
Three years ago, the Andhra Pradesh Congress under late YSR Reddy delivered victory in the general elections. Since then the party has seen bitter infighting over Reddy's legacy, the Telangana tangle and internal squabbles. Now that 10 Congress leaders from the state are in the union cabinet, the party must be hoping it is the start of a turnaround.