Hyderabad: The much awaited cabinet expansion by Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will finally take place on February 19 – two months after the formation of new government in the state.
Rao, a stern believer in astrology, has decided on 11.30 am as the muhurat (auspicious time) for the expansion. He personally met governor ESL Narasimhan in Raj Bhavan and conveyed the timings. He also ordered the concerned officials to make necessary arrangements for the swearing in ceremony of the new ministers.
As per his graha chakra, ‘Magha Sudha Pournami’, which falls on February 19, is a good day to take up new activities.
Some leaders have already started meeting the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and party's working president KT Rama Rao in an attempt to lobby their way into the expansion.
As per guidelines, the expansion may include 18 ministers in the state. Minister Mahamood Ali has already been placed along with Rao. Sixteen vacancies now remain to be filled in the expansion.
Rao allegedly did a lot of brainstorming before the cabinet expansion as this time he wants to merge all the related departments into one portfolio for easy coordination. He has worked out all community and district-wise equations into finalising the names of the ministers.
With Lok Sabha elections nearing, Rao may not fill all positions in the Cabinet right now, the sources said, adding that the CM wants to send some senior leaders and MLAs to the Parliament to work out the strategy of his federal front. Only eight to 20 ministers may be placed this time.
During his first innings as the CM, Rao had received backlash for no representation of women in the Cabinet. However, this time, sources say, at least one berth will be given to a woman leader.
“Oh… finally boss has taken a decision. I may get or may not get ministry. But tension will be relieved,” an aspirant minister told News 18 on the condition of anonymity.
Speculations are rife in the TRS circle that this time the Cabinet will be filled with all new faces. Even KT Rama Rao and Harish Rao may not be given ministerial portfolios, sources said.