Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is likely to go for a complete revamp of the Cabinet next month by inducting leaders who have been waiting in the wings for more than two and a half years.He dropped hints to this effect during a Cabinet meeting on Friday called to approve the state Budget 2022-23 before its presentation in the Assembly.The Chief Minister reportedly told his Cabinet colleagues that there are many aspirants for ministerial berths. He assured them that even if they are not part of the Cabinet they will not be sidelined. He told them that if they are re-elected in the next elections, they will return to the Cabinet as ministers.The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leader also said to have told the ministers that those not in the Cabinet should work for strengthening the party.The exercise will be aimed at giving an opportunity to those who were expecting the Cabinet berths in 2019 but could not be accommodated. At that time, the Chief Minister had tried to assuage their feelings by promising to give them a chance in the second half of the five-year term.While a section of YSRCP leaders believe that Jagan Mohan Reddy is likely to go for a reshuffle and retain senior cabinet colleagues, others have not ruled 100 per cent revamp.
The Chief Minister is reportedly keen in giving a complete new look to the cabinet by drafting the sitting ministers including seniors for the party work.During the exercise, Jagan Mohan Reddy will also make sure that all the districts have due representation in the Cabinet.The government has already decided to create 13 new districts from Ugadi, the Telugu new year. With this the number of districts will go up to 26. Jagan Mohan Reddy is said to be planning the expansion around Ugadi (April 2).Jagan Mohan Reddy will also have to ensure proper representation to various castes, especially the dominant castes ahead of the 2024 elections.The YSRCP stormed to power in 2019 with a landslide majority, bagging 151 seats in the 175-member Assembly.Jagan Mohan Reddy had formed the Cabinet with 25 ministers. In 2020, two of them - Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose and R. Mopidevi Venkataramana resigned after they were elected to Rajya Sabha. They were replaced by C.S. Venugopala Krishna and Seediri Appalaraju.Including the Chief Minister, the strength of the state cabinet stayed at 26, which is the maximum strength the council of ministers can maintain.However, the death of Mekapati Goutham Reddy last month caused a vacancy. Goutham Reddy, who was holding the industries, commerce and information technology portfolios, died of cardiac arrest on February 21.