Guntur: The politically dynamic Guntur district is going to have the poorest representation in the state cabinet as no legislator from the district could get the chance to replace Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao who resigned after getting elected as Rajya Sabha member.
Guntur, one of the districts with highest number of assembly seats, is left with only one minister in the cabinet, home minister Mekathoti Sucharitha. Interestingly, Visakhapatnam, another big district, was also left with one minister in the cabinet while all the remaining 11 districts have 2 ministers in the cabinet.
Although several names did rounds to fill the Mopidevi’s slot from the district, chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s decision to go with Seediri Appala Raju (Srikakulam) and Ch Venugopala Krishna (East Godavari) dashed the hopes of strong contenders such as Ambati Rambabu and V Rajani.
While the CM’s decision to induct only the BCs to fill the slots of Pilli Subhachadrabose and Mopidevi had taken Ambati Rambabu out of the equation, Rajani’s name believed to have not taken into consideration in view of her experience in public life. She joined the party just before the elections and got elected to assembly. Sources said that Rambabu’s name could be considered in the next round reshuffling of the cabinet which the CM wanted to take up after the completion of two and half years of ruling.
This is considered to be the first time in recent history that Guntur district has such low representation in the cabinet. There were instances when four ministers represented the district in the cabinet in the past. When the posts of speaker and whip were taken together, district enjoyed at least half a dozen cabinet rank posts in the past.
However, the chances of giving representation to more than two from each district have diminished following the bifurcation of the state as it has only 175 seats in assembly. As per the rules, the cabinet size should not be more than 15 percent of the total assembly strength, which puts the cap at 26 including the CM.
The four-time legislator from the district, Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy as government whip, veteran leader Ummareddi Venkateswarlu as chief whip in the legislative council and deputy speaker of the assembly Kona Raghupati are enjoying the cabinet status from the sitting legislators from the district.