Hyderabad: After former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav postponed the meeting with Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), the Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) supremo is said to be aiming at completing the process of inducting MLAs into a mini-cabinet and swearing-in of newly elected MLAs by January 4, 2019. Now that KCR's deliberations with national leaders in the direction of stitching out a Federal Front is paused until January 6, the second-time Telangana CM is planning to set up a cabinet that would be convenient to administer the government while he plays an important role at the national level. Akhilesh is expected to call on KCR in Hyderabad after Jan 6.
In this context, KCR will in all likelihood arrive at the State capital on Friday and will call for a expansion of the new cabinet any time, official sources say. However, there is a slight chance that KCR's Delhi tour could prolong by one more day. It may be recalled that only Mahmood Ali was sworn-in as the Home Minister along with KCR two days after the TRS registered a landslide victory. Also, it is not clear if the swearing-in of MLAs would be held first or the cabinet would be set up. The Speaker of the Assembly and a Deputy Speaker is yet to be appointed.
As per Constitutional norms, Telangana could have 18 members in the council of ministers. Caste equations, regional importance and representation for all the erstwhile 10 districts could be the key to KCR's decisions. The Chief Minister is inclined to establishing a mini-cabinet of 8 to 10 ministers, keeping in view the Lok Sabha polls mid-next year. If KCR decides to induct eight members into the cabinet, four MLAs from the Open Category, two from Backward Class (BCs) and one each from the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) might get the opportunity.
Meanwhile, officials of the Telangana Legislative Assembly is prepping for the swearing-in of the new members. Besides, speculation is rife that senior MLA Etela Rajender would be given a chance as the Speaker. Since former Speaker Madhusudhanachary lost from Bhupalpally this time around, the TRS leadership is willing to continue the tradition of offering the Speaker's post to a BC MLA. Other names doing rounds are senior leader Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, former Deputy Speaker Padma Devender Reddy, Koppula Eshwar and DS Reddyanayak.