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AP cabinet expanded with induction of 2 ministers

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: November 11, 2018  | 13:54 IST

Amaravati, Nov 10 (PTI) The Chandrabau Naidu cabinet in Andhra Pradesh was Sunday expanded with the induction of veteran TDP leader N Md Farooq and political debutant Kidari Sravan Kumar as ministers, filling vacancies caused by the resignation of two BJP members in March. Governor E S L Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the two new ministers at a ceremony in the Grievance Hall at Undavalli here. Farooq, an MLC, took the oath in Telugu while Kumar, son of slain MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao, did it in English, as his mother, seated among the audience, was visibly overwhelmed. Rao, who represented Araku valley, was shot dead by the outlawed CPI (Maoists) on September 23 along with a former legislator. After taking oath, Kumar touched Chief Minister's N Chandrababu Naidu's feet and took his blessings while the Governor congratulated the two new ministers. The vacancies had arisen after the BJP quit the coalition government in the state following the Telugu Desam severing its ties with the NDA at the Centre. Farooq, known as the Muslim face of the TDP in the Rayalaseema region, had served as a minister earlier in the cabinets of party founder N T Rama Rao and later Chandrababu Naidu. He had also served as Deputy Speaker of the united Andhra Pradesh Assembly but lost all elections since 2004. He was nominated to the Legislative Council in July 2017 and made its Chairman in November. Five days short of a year in office, Farooq resigned from the Council Chairman post Saturday afternoon, ahead of his induction into the Cabinet. 28-year-old Kumar, an engineering graduate, is making his political debut and is not a member of either House of the Legislature, elections for which are just six months away. Naidu has promised to field him from Araku Valley constituency in the 2019 election. The Chandrababu Cabinet that was constituted on June 8, 2014, was first reconstituted on April 2, 2017 by dropping five ministers and inducting 11 new members, including the Chief Minister's son Lokesh and four members of the YSR Congress who defected to the TDP. With the latest expansion, the cabinet strength stands at 26, the upper limit as per the Constitutional norm. PTI DBV VS DV DV

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