A new coalition government has emerged in Andhra Pradesh with the induction of two legislators of the Praja Rajyam Party into the N Kiran Kumar Reddy Cabinet here today.
State Governor E S L Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Ganta Srinivasa Rao,a member of the Legislative Assembly,and C Ramachandraiah,a member of the Legislative Council,at a brief function in the Raj Bhavan.
With the induction of these two,the strength of the state Cabinet rose to 39,including the Chief Minister.
However,five slots still remain vacant in the state Cabinet even after today’s expansion.
The Chief Minister,PRP chief and Tirupati MLA K Chiranjeevi,PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana and a host of other leaders were persent at the ceremony.
Both Ganta and Ramachandraiah previously served as members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively on behalf of the Telugu Desam Party.
Ganta was elected to the Assembly from Chodavaram constituency in Visakhapatnam district in 2009 while Ramachandraiah was elected to the Council in March 2011.
The chief minister had to accommodate Ramachandraiah in the Council of Ministers despite stiff opposition to the latter’s candidature from several leaders of the Congress,including those from Kadapa district.
For Ramachandraiah,it would be a second stint as minister as he had previously served in the Cabinet of then Chief Minister N T Rama Rao in the mid-1980s.
Though the Praja Rajyam Party merged with the ruling Congress in August,the technical formality in this regard has not yet been completed inside the Legislature.
As such,the PRP continues to be recognised as a separate political entity.
“Since the technical formality related to the merger has not been completed,the government effectively becomes a coalition as the PRP is still an independent party,” constitutional expert Madabhushi Sridhar pointed out.
According to legislature sources,the PRP continues to be a separate party as far as the House is concerned.
In 2004,the Congress formed a coalition government with Telangana Rashtra Samiti but the latter walked out in 2005.
Now,the state will have another Congress-led coalition government till the merger formalities with the PRP are completed.