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Senior leaders feel let down

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The swearing in of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday has left some senior leaders and other aspirants for Cabinet berths quite disappointed.

J.C. Diwakar Reddy, senior Congress leader from Anantapur (Tadipatri constituency), and Katasani Rambhupal Reddy (Panyam) made no secret of their dissatisfaction at being left out from the new team. The latter said Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy should explain the reasons for not inducting them into the Council of Ministers. Mr. Diwakar Reddy said it was for the Chief Minister to reveal the deficiency, if any, with his candidature, but said he was not inclined to make any complaint.

Claiming that Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy had taken over the reins of government at a difficult time, he said the selection of Ministers was the sole prerogative of the Chief Minister and it had to be seen how the new Government would tackle the challenges that lay ahead. He was sore that the new Council of Ministers comprised several YSR loyalists, including those who launched the “make Jagan CM” campaign.

Mr. Diwakar Reddy, however, asserted that he would continue to be loyal to the party and there was no question of leaving it. He said that YSR had promised him a berth in his Cabinet but died before he could fulfil it.

Sharply criticising the Chief Minister, the Panyam MLA said he would chalk out his future course of action after consulting party leaders and workers in his Panyam constituency and Kurnool district towards the month-end. “Why was Kurnool district not given a third Minister like Medak, Guntur and Hyderabad,” he asked.

Meanwhile, another MLA, R. Damodar Reddy, a Minister during YSR's first stint, criticised Telangana leaders for accepting Cabinet berths after swearing that they would not hanker after posts. Ministers from the region should announce their clear stand on separate Telangana and prepare to relinquish their posts if the Srikrishna Committee's report was not in favour of statehood for the region.

‘Tainted' Ministers back: TDP

The Telugu Desam has criticised the Cabinet formation saying several ‘tainted' Ministers have managed to get into N. Kiran Kumar Reddy's ministry. Party leaders T. Devender Goud, Y. Ramakrishnudu and A. Revanth Reddy, MLA, said at a press conference expressed apprehension that the Ministers might again secure important portfolios. Mr. Reddy, they said, also failed to ensure social justice to various sections of people. The Praja Rajyam party also complained about lack of social justice in the distribution of Cabinet berths. J. Gowtham, spokesperson, alleged that ‘injustice' has been done to BCs, women and Muslims.

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