The long-awaited Telangana cabinet expansion will take place on February 19.
Yes, 66 days after the results of the elections were declared (on December 11 last year), during which many files got stalled due to there being no ministers, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has finally decided on a date to expand the cabinet (which currently has just him and home minister Mahmood Ali), putting to an end the unending speculation on the issue.
The Chief Minister had a meeting with the Governor E S L Narasimhan this afternoon at Raj Bhavan and conveyed his decision to expand the cabinet.
It is well-known that KCR is highly superstitious and religious, and the date has been picked after careful studies of whatever are studied to pick auspicious dates. February 19 according to the lunar calendar is Magha Shuddha Pournami, and is considered an auspicious day. The swearing in of the new ministers is slated to take place at 11:30 am on that day.
However, while the time and date for the cabinet expansion have been announced, there is no indication of how many ministers will be included in the cabinet now, and whether there will be another expansion after the Lok Sabha elections. Sources, however, said that KCR might induct 6-8 ministers for now, and have the full ministry (of 18 ministers) only after the Lok Sabha elections to be held in April of this year.
The names of Koppula Eshwar, Gutha Sukender Reddy, Redya Naik, Padma Devender Reddy, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Thalasani Srinivas Yadav, Etela Rajender, KTR and T Harish Rao are being mentioned as probable candidates for the cabinet.
Along with the cabinet expansion on February 19, the Chief Minister is also likely to appoint a Deputy Speaker for the Legislative Assembly, a Chief Whip and other Whips.
The budget session of the Legislature is scheduled to commence on February 22, and the Budget will be presented at 11:30 am on that very day. It is unclear as of now who will present the budget.