Andhra CM inducts 2 ministers in the cabinet

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday expanded his cabinet with the induction of two ministers.

Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to NMD Farooq and Kidari Sravan at a ceremony attended by Naidu, his other cabinet colleagues and senior officials.

Farooq, a member of the State Legislative Council, had been serving as the chairman of the Upper House of the state legislature.

He had earlier served as a Minister in the cabinet of N.T. Rama Rao and Chandrababu Naidu in undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Sravan is the son of Kidari Sarveswara Rao, who was gunned down by Maoists in Visakhapatnam district in September. Sarvesawara Rao was a member of the State Legislative Assembly from Araku.

With this expansion, Naidu has given representation to Muslims and tribals in the cabinet, seven months before the Assembly elections.

Farooq, a senior leader of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), is likely to be allotted the minorities welfare portfolio while Sarvan, who is not a member of either house of the state legislature, is expected to get tribal welfare.

The induction of two ministers has taken the strength of the cabinet to 26.

The two cabinet berths were vacant after two ministers belonging to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) resigned from Telugu Desam Party (TDP)-led government in March.

This followed TDP pulling out of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre.