Ministry formation likely in Phases, Swearing-in of some ministers Next Week ?

Hyderabad: Even as the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who took over reigns on December 13, is concentrating on implementing the promises made to the people on poll-eve, there is intense speculation among the political circles, more so in the ruling TRS circles on many issues concerning the Ministry-formation. KCR took over as Chief Minister, and inducted only one Minister in the Cabinet, Mohd Mahmood Ali, former Deputy Chief Minister, and assigned him the Home portfolio.

Many expected that the Ministry formation will be the first priority of the Chief Minister. Contrary to that, KCR started taking administrative measures in the direction of fulfilling the promises made during the election campaign, like formation of new districts, Revenue Divisions, Mandals, etc., finalizing the guidelines relating to reduction of eligibility limit for different kinds of pensions to 57 years, fixing deadline for completion of Mission Bhagiratha works and supplying water to every household in the State, etc. He has also bestowed his attention on strengthening the party and as a first step in this direction appointed KTR as Working President.
It is learnt that KCR has now started concentration on formation of the new Ministry, which is somewhat a difficult task, as there are 90 MLAs (88 plus two Independents who joined the party) and 30 MLCs, while the total permissible strength of the Ministry is only 17, apart from the posts of Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip.

There are too many aspirants for Ministerial berths—both seniors and juniors. It is learnt that the Chief Minister is thinking of appointing seven or eight Ministers during the next one week, leaving scope for further expansion of the Ministry in future, only after the Lok Sabha elections in all probability. Before finalizing the Ministers, KCR is keen on finding suitable members for the posts of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and chief whip. Sources said that KCR has taken up this exercise today, having the lists of MLAs and MLCs with him, along with their details. Indications are that he might finalise the names of Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip and Ministers in the next three, four days.

Apart from ensuring representation in the Ministry to various sections (communities) and women, KCR intends to take in to consideration the performance of the Ministers and MLAs in the previous term, their loyalty to the party, their qualifications and capabilities and other considerations, while finalizing the list. This task is expected to be completed shortly, and the Ministry formation might take place sometime next week. The induction of one or two Deputy Chief Minister is also not ruled out. The first session of the new Assembly might take place after finalization of the Speaker or only after Ministry formation.