Hyderabad: It’s been two months since the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) clinched a victory in the assembly election, but chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has left several MLAs in the dark over the cabinet expansion.
For now, the Telangana cabinet only has two ministers — KCR himself and Home Minister Mahmood Ali.
The only other major appointment made was for the post of the speaker (Pocharam Srinivas Reddy) as it is a constitutional obligation, while Mareddy Srinivas Reddy was nominated as the civil supplies corporation chairman.
Leaders believed KCR, a firm believer in the gods and astrology, would announce his decision on ministry formation on one of the several dates considered auspicious by the Hindu calendar.
However, the chief minister chose to remain mum on the decision even through the auspicious ‘Sahasra Chandi yagam’ and ‘Magha Masam’ periods.
Then, there was a speculation that an announcement was forthcoming on the February 5, i.e. ‘Vasanta panchami’, the day Hindus worship Goddess Saraswathi.
However, all hopes were dashed and there was no final word from KCR even on the auspicious ‘Ratha saptami’, which falls on Tuesday.
“KCR may take up the cabinet expansion after February 15. According to the graha chakra (planetary positions) of Rao, ‘pournima’ gives more strength,” state legislature secretary and astrologer Narasimha Charyulu told News 18.
Sources have, however, said KCR is working on a different strategy to zero in on the candidates.
With the Lok Sabha polls just around the corner, the TRS chief wants to send a few senior leaders as members of Parliament to work out a federal front strategy.
He is planning to field senior and defeated leaders and MLAs to Parliament for the general elections.
The chief minister is looking to appoint only seven-eight ministers in the cabinet prior to the elections and the remaining after the polls conclude.
“The chief minister has his own strategy. He has to work on many issues. What is the hurry in expansion? Everything is going on smoothly. KCR never announced the date of cabinet expansion, but the media is speculating and confusing people. He (KCR) will take the decision when the time is appropriate,” a senior TRS leader close to the chief minister told News18.
The TRS chief had recently fielded Peddapally MP Balka Suman and Malkajgiri MP Ch Malla Reddy for the state polls.
However, the delay has left several senior leaders in anguish and anxiety. “We have been waiting for the CM’s decision,” an aspirant minister told News18.
Meanwhile, the government has to commence the assembly session to table the annual budget and the question remains how the budget would be tabled given that there is no finance minister.
According to experts, the portfolios which haven’t been allotted will be taken up by the chief minister.
But, with KCR taking care of all the departments, a gap in governance seems imminent.
“Ministers have to undergo day-to-day departmental activities. The chief minister can concentrate only on special issues. He cannot go into every aspect of the departments. Reports says there are lot of pending files in all the departments,” a retired government officer, Chandra Reddy, said.
Meanwhile, the Congress has hit out at TRS over the delay in the cabinet expansion calling KCR a ‘dictator’.
Amid all the allegations and controversies, KCR is spending time in his farm house to work out a strategy for the cabinet and parliament elections.