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Cabinet reshuffle likely in July

Special Correspondent


Exercise may be taken up after Praja Rajyam's merger with the Congress is formally completed


HYDERABAD: The much talked about Cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place once the merger of Praja Rajyam with the Congress is complete sometime in the second week of July.

Though Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy is said to have started the reshuffle exercise, the party leadership may give him the green signal only after the formal merger takes place at a mega public meeting likely to be held on July 10 either in Vijayawada or Rajahmundry.

Two berths for PR?

Mr. Reddy now heads a 38-member Council of Ministers and there are still six vacancies to be filled of which at least two are likely to be given to the Praja Rajyam consequent to its merger. With the focus shifting on giving due weightage to the weaker sections, the inclusion of some more Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes MLAs into the Cabinet is imminent.

Similarly, the party leaders maintain that the Chief Minister may not drop any Minister from the Cabinet unless the central leadership directs him to drop those loyal to YSR Congress Party president Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

The Chief Minister is likely to meet AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad once he returns to India on June 27 and get the clearance for the reshuffle.

Portfolio change

A number of Ministers are seeking a change in their portfolios. Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Rajanarasimha has himself requested the Chief Minister to allocate the Home portfolio presently held by P. Sabitha Indira Reddy. Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy is also said to have made a request for a change.

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