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Ministers' swearing-in today

Special Correspondent

Chief Minister leaves aspirants guessing

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy held his cards close to the chest by not divulging the names of those whom he will induct into his Council of Ministers at the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Even 12 hours before the oath-taking function, Mr. Reddy left Congress leaders guessing about the size and composition of his Cabinet and his choice for the Deputy Chief Minister's post.

Anxious enquiries

The aspirants, who include Ministers in the Rosaiah government and senior MLAs, were making anxious enquiries about their fate and trying to read the Chief Minister's mind. Only YSR's younger brother Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy, an MLC, seemed sure of securing a Cabinet berth.

Interestingly, Mr. Reddy plans to submit the list of his Council of Ministers to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan at 5 a.m.

Lobbying

Such extraordinary caution against leakage of names has been necessitated by the Congress high command's reported advice not to give scope for lobbying and dissatisfaction.

More importantly, the sudden turn of events triggered by the resignation of Congress MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy has made the ruling party highly circumspect on who should be inducted and excluded.

The Chief Minister who appeared to have finalised the list during his Delhi visit was planning to have a full-fledged team of about 35 Ministers so that he could start his innings in right earnest.

Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy's revolt appears to have made him rework on the list in consultation with AICC leaders and prune it, but the last word on the composition has not been said.

Severe pressure

The Chief Minister was under severe pressure from Congress seniors who failed to get a berth after the party returned to power in 2009.

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