Hyderabad: When a newly inducted Telangana minister was asked about the absence of women in K Chandrashekar Rao’s first list of cabinet members, his reply was “women are at home”.
In the same breath he added that women were the pillars of strength for the KCR-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the party always enjoyed their support.
Over two months after winning elected the Telangana assembly election with a thumping majority, KCR expanded his cabinet on Tuesday with the induction of 10 ministers.
Earlier too, the two-time chief minister, had received flak for not giving women any representation in his previous cabinet.
The new list of ministers were announced at a time when the state government has been pushing for a women reservation bill.
At present, the cabinet has 12 members, including home minister Mahmood Ali, who took oath along with the chief minister in December, last year. A total of 18 ministers can be accommodated in the cabinet, which meant that there was the possibility of another expansion in future.
Former deputy chief minister Kadiyam Srihari, who did not make it to the first list, said there would be a woman minister in the next list.
“This is quite a balanced cabinet. There will be a woman and a member of the Scheduled Tribe in the next list,” Srihari told News18.
A majority of the new ministers in the cabinet were new faces.
TRS working president KT Rama Rao and former minister Harish Rao were also not part of the list.
Among the 10 legislators who were sworn in as ministers on Tuesday, six belong to forward caste, three from backward and one from scheduled caste.
Four ministers — Allolla Indra Karan Reddy, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Gutakandla Jagadish Reddy and Eetela Rajender Reddy — were in KCR’s last Cabinet too.
A minister said there would be a clarity on portfolio allocation by the end of the day.
The chief minister fixed Tuesday for the cabinet expansion, as it is an “auspicious day” being “Magha Shuddha Pournami” as per the Lunar calendar.