Speculation has gathered momentum in the TRS circles on the possibility of a proper cabinet being formed within the next three or four days.
With Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao slated to return to Hyderabad after a five-day visit of some states and the national capital, speculation has gathered momentum in the TRS circles on the possibility of a proper cabinet being formed within the next three or four days, and on the choice of members for the posts of Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip etc.
Some of the aspirants are stated to be spending sleepless nights due to the continued suspense - the Chief Minister was sworn in on December 13, and there has been no cabinet for two weeks after that with the sole exception of Mohammad Mahmood Ali who was sworn in as Home Minister along with KCR.
There is scope for the induction of 16 more ministers as per the specified norms (15% of members of the Assembly can be made ministers, and the Telangana Assembly strength is 119, which means there can be 18 ministers including the CM). Apart from this, the posts of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the Chief Whip also need to be filled.
Informed sources indicate that KCR will first finalise the names of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Chief Whip, and possibly seven or eight ministers. In all probability, KCR will induct some ministers on December 30 or on January 1. The CM is stated to be toying with the idea of having a full cabinet only after the Lok Sabha elections due next year.
Indications are that in the first phase both K T Rama Rao (KCR's son) and T Harish Rao (KCR's nephew) will be inducted as ministers. There is scope for some new faces in the cabinet, and the inclusion of a woman in the cabinet appears to be a certainty.
On his return from Delhi, KCR is likely to have consultations with the senior leaders of the party tonight itself on the cabinet formation, and continue the process tomorrow too and then call on the Governor E S L Narasimhan with a list of candidates.
There is already criticism from the Opposition leaders on the Chief Minister not finalizing the cabinet even after 15 days of his taking over the reigns of the state following the election results. Some of the Opposition leaders have flayed KCR for his failure to form the cabinet and concentrate on governance, and for making efforts instead to form a federal front at the national level. In view of this, some of the senior leaders are advising the Chief Minister to attend to the task of cabinet formation at least now, resulting in the possibility of action in the next 2-3 days itself.
In this background, hectic activity is being witnessed at Telangana Bhavan, the headquarters of the TRS, with many aspirants making a beeline to meet the party Working President KTR and seek his support. Many party legislators believe that KTR can influence the cabinet formation to some extent, and hence are putting forward their claims to him.
For the uninitiated, the TRS won 88 of the 119 Assembly seats, and two independents joined the party after that, taking its total strength in the Telangana Assembly to 90.