Hyderabad: The State Cabinet expansion and the inaugural session of the second Telangana State Legislative Assembly are likely to take place only towards the end of this month, it is learnt.
According to sources, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is also learnt to have taken a call that when the Cabinet is expanded, opportunities are likely to be given to those who can ensure the TRS government meets its priorities and the needs of the people. As a result, the traditional way of constituting a Cabinet based on various permutations and combinations, would have no place this time round, the sources explained.
Sources said the Chief Minister believes that only those who can deliver and are completely loyal should find a place in the Cabinet. There would be no place in the Cabinet formation process for any feeling of sense of obligation as the priority is to deliver on promises made to the people.
Similarly, appointment of officials to important departments will also be based on their abilities to deliver on tasks assigned to them, including taking up and implementing promises made to the people. The initial Cabinet expansion is expected to be limited to an intake of six to eight members, while the full Cabinet is expected to be constituted only after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The TRS, which bagged 88 of the 119 Assembly seats, has already touched the 90-member mark with All India Forward Bloc MLA from Ramagundem K Chander and Wyra MLA Ramulu Naik joining the ruling party. With this, the party has three-fourths majority in the House and coupled with the seven seats of the friendly MIM, the ruling side has a whopping 97 members.
With this being the position, the Chief Minister, it is learnt, has decided to first focus on immediate priorities before the State government. After the dissolution of the last Assembly on September 6, the next three months were taken up by the election process and after this break, Chandrashekhar Rao plunged into work and has already initiated extensive reviews taking stock of where things stand with respect to moving ahead with government priorities, development and welfare programmes by various departments, and strengthening of grassroot democratic bodies, including Panchayat Raj institutions and village development.
The Chief Minister is also seized of ensuring speedy completion of irrigation projects and Mission Bhagiratha drinking water supply programme. Also a priority for the Chief Minster, sources said, is a detailed study of the State’s finances and planning resource mobilization.
Feelers from Cong MLAs
There are other political developments like 12 Congress MLAs sending feelers to join the TRS, and eight of them are ready to join any time, sources said.
As regards some misconception with regard to the status of newly elected MLAs, it is clear that they are MLAs from the day the gazette notification is issued declaring them elected. Taking oath in the Assembly is required only to fulfil certain constitutional duties as elected representatives of the people. There were instances in the past, as in 2014, when the elections were held on April 30 and the results declared on May 16. It was only on June 9, 23 days after the declaration of results, that the MLAs took oath in the Telangana Legislative Assembly, while in Andhra Pradesh, this process was delayed even further.
In addition to these goals for development of the State, the Chief Minister will also honour other traditions. As part of keeping up these traditions, he will soon visit New Delhi to call on the Prime Minister as the new Chief Minister of the State. The Chief Minister will also be engaged in programmes of President of India who is arriving here in the city for his winter sojourn on December 21, the sources said.
They said the Chief Minister is learnt to be of the view that once he completes all these tasks, the Assembly could be called to session towards the end of December when the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House would also be elected. The expansion of the Cabinet would also be somewhere around that time, the sources said.