Cabinet reshuffle: Why Andhra got the biggest slice of pie

Andhra Pradesh
New Delhi, Oct 28: The induction of five more ministers from Andhra Pradesh in the Manmohan Singh-led government is a clear signal that the Congress is still undecided on the Telangana question.

The issue has been a vexed one ever since the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram announced the process of forming the state of Telangana on Dec 9, 2009.

While those who had been pressing for a separate state welcomed the decision, violent protests broke out in Rayalseema and Coastal Andhra regions. The Centre backtracked exactly 14 days after Chidambaram's announcement.

The Congress high command has supposedly been holding consultations with several parties but till date there is no clarity on whether Telangana will be carved out of Andhra Pradesh.

Sonia Gandhi's reluctance to bite the bullet is due to the fact that the southern state is crucial to her party's electoral fortunes. Even before today's cabinet reshuffle, Andhra Pradesh was represented by six ministers.

The ruling party is obviously keen to pander to all communities, groups and regions in the state. Sarve Satyanarayana and Porika Balram Naik, two of the new faces in the ministry, hail from Telangana.

Incidentally, Kavuri Samba Siva Rao quit yesterday after his plea for ministerial berth fell on deaf ears. The party leadership ignored the Eluru MP as he had taken an anti-Telangana stand.

Actor-turned politician Chiranjeevi was made the Minister of State (with Independent charge) for Tourism as a reward for merging his Praja Rajyam party with the Congress in 2011. That he is a Kapu also weighed in his favour. Pallam Raju was given cabinet rank since he is from the same community.

Such considerations may seem to be very cynical to the average person. However, these are paramount as far as political parties are concerned.

Congress wants to win enough seats in the next Lok Sabha elections to retain its hold on power. No wonder Andhra Pradesh got the biggest slice of the pie today.

OneIndia News 

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