More than two months after the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was re-elected to power, Telangana has got only two ministers in its Cabinet, and nobody knows why except for Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. While some of the state’s media houses point to KCR’s well-known “strong belief in astrology” that could be prompting him to wait for an auspicious date to announce his Cabinet, others say that the wait is because the CM is busy sorting out his party’s internal affairs. On the other side, opposition leaders and political experts are arguing that the CM is undermining the Constitution.
On December 13 last year, K Chandrashekar Rao took oath as the chief minister at 1:34 PM, an auspicious time according to the chief priest of Yadadri Temple. A few days after him, Mohammed Mahmood Ali, a member of Telangana Legislative Council, took oath as the state home minister. In the last 64 days, that has been the extent of the Cabinet expansion.
“At the outset, this is against the provisions of constitution,” explained political analyst Professor Haragopal. Speaking with Newsclick, Haragopal said that despite an absolute majority, and several senior leaders within the TRS party, there is no reasonable excuse for the delay in forming the Cabinet, except for KCR’s display of power which does not address any political purpose.
“As per the Constitution, a state cabinet should at least consist of 12 representatives, whereas, in Telangana’s case, it is a direct mockery of the Constitution, as KCR is running the government with only one minister under him,” he added.
Congress spokesperson Sravan Dasoju asserted that the state bureaucracy is defunct. “There is zero governance, defunct bureaucracy and complete anarchy in the state. Thousands of files have piled up, and the budget is yet to be presented," stated Dasoju.
As per the latest Chief Minister’s Office announcement, the state’s vote on account will be presented on February 22, but who will present it has not been specified as there is no finance minister.
During his previous tenure as the chief minister, KCR was widely criticised for his “Nizam style rule”, and display of power. However, his party leaders appear to be backing his actions. “Whatever he does, he will do it with a sense and valid reason, and there is no basis in the opposition’s criticism of delay in cabinet expansion,” TRS spokesperson Prof K Srinivasulu Reddy was quoted as saying on this matter.
TRS Party’s Internal Politics
KCR’s son and former state minister K Taraka Rama Rao was recently elected as the president of the party while KCR’s nephew and another popular leader from TRS, Harish Rao had vacated his bungalow, marking dissent, as he was not taken into the Cabinet. Sources say that Harish Rao’s supporters inside the TRS are not happy with KCR openly sidelining him while elevating Rama Rao at the same time.
Whatever the party’s internal affairs maybe, without a full-fledged cabinet, it is obvious that there is a hindrance in the movement of files in almost all departments of the state’s administration.
The TRS was elected back to power on December 11 with a thumping majority. It won 87 seats in the 119-member House, and secured 47 per cent of the vote share in the state.