YSR announces portfolios, Sabita first woman Home Minister

Hyderabad, May 27: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s adopted sister P Sabita Indra Reddy was elevated and made the new Home minister, the first woman in the state to hold the crucial porfolio once held by her late husband.

Sabita(46), a Mines and Geology minister in the previous Rajasekhara Reddy ministry, follows in the footsteps of her late husband Indra Reddy who was the Home Minister in the N T Rama Rao Cabinet in 1994-95. Like in the past, the chief minister will have the sensitive law and order subject.

“It’s so thrilling that I have become the Home Minister, a post once held by my late husband Indra Reddy. I am extremely thankful to the Chief Minister for this,” said an ecstatic Sabita who succeeded K Jana Reddy, who was among the four senior ministers dropped during Cabinet formation.

It was from Chevella, Sabita’s hometown, that Rajasekhara Reddy launched his 1,450-km padayatra (foot march) in 2003 and went on to become the Chief Minister in 2004. Since then Chevella has become his favourite place for launching all his programmes and Sabita was called his adopted sister ‘Chevella Chellamma’ by which name she is now popularly called.

According to an official communique, Sabita will handle general police administration, jails and correctional services, fire and emergency services and Sainik welfare as Home Minister.

Senior ministers and old faces K Rosaiah, Dharmana Prasada Rao, N Raghuveera Reddy and Ponnala Lakshmaiah retained their old portfolios–finance and legislative affairs, revenue, agriculture and major irrigation respectively.

The Chief Minister will look after general administration department, law and order, excise and prohibition, commercial taxes apart from the departments not allotted to other ministers, according to an official communiqué.

The chief minister constituted a 35-member Cabinet including six women and 20 new faces. He retained 15 ministers of his former government.

With the ambitious Jalayagnam programme going on in full swing, Ponnala has been retained as the major irrigation minister since he is well-versed with the projects, official sources said.

Dharmana and Raghuveera too held the revenue and agriculture portfolios effectively over the last five years and hence were being continued, the sources added.

But what raised many an eyebrow is the allocation of another crucial portfolio housing to Silpa Mohan Reddy, a big-time realtor.

Apart from the weaker section housing programme, the state government has also started its real-estate venture Swagruha with the promise of building houses for the moderate income group at rates 25 per cent lesser than the prevailing market value.

However, the Swagruha programme failed to take off as expected, thereby shattering the dreams of lakhs of aspirants for a own house.

J Geeta Reddy – information, public relations and tourism; Galla Arnuna Kumari – roads and buildings; Kanna Lakshminarayana – major industries; Gade Venkata Reddy – endowments, stamps and registrations.

Duddilla Sridhar Babu – higher education; Mopidevi Venkata Ramana – technical education, law and courts.

S Vijaya Rama Raju – transport; Damodara Rajanarasimha – marketing; D K Aruna – small-scale industries; Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose — social welfare; P Balaraju — tribal welfare;Jupalli Krishna Rao — civil supplies.

Danam Nagender – medical and health;Komatireddy Venkat Reddy — information technology, sports and youth affairs; Ramireddy Venkat Reddy — co-operation and labour. Dokka Manikya Vara Prasad — secondary education, residential schools and adult education.

Md Ahmadullah — minorities welfare, primary education and libraries; Konda Surekha — women and child welfare. V Sunita Lakshma Reddy — minor irrigation;P Viswaroop — rural water supply; Balineni Srinivasa Reddy — mines and geology, handlooms and textiles.

P Satyanarayana Arogya Sri health insurance; P Ramachandra Reddy — forests; C Silpa Mohan Reddy — housing.

P Sudarshan Reddy — medical education; M Mukesh Goud — BC welfare; Vatti Vasanth Kumar — rural development and K Pardhasaradhi — animal husbandry.