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Andhra CM’s son, 10 others sworn in as ministers

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday inducted his son Nara Lokesh and 10 others in the Cabinet while dropping five ministers.

Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a ceremony here.

Three members of opposition YSR Congress party, who had crossed over to the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), were also inducted into the Cabinet.

Lokesh, the only son of Naidu, was elected to the state legislative council in March. The 34-year-old graduate from Stanford Business School is the General Secretary of TDP.

After taking oath, Lokesh touched the feet of his father and the Governor to take their blessings.

Lokesh’s mother Bhuvaneswari, wife Brahmini, father-in-law and maternal uncle actor N. Balakrishna and other family members attended the ceremony.

Akhil Priya, whose father and TDP legislator Bhuma Nagi Reddy died of cardiac arrest last month, was the lone woman to be inducted. She took oath on her birthday.

The 26-year-old was elected to assembly in by-election from Allagadda in Kurnool district after her mother Shobha Nagi Reddy died in 2014 in a road accident during election campaign.

Though elected as YSR Congress members, both Bhuma and her daughter switched loyalties to the TDP in 2016.

TDP’s Andhra Pradesh unit chief Kala Venkat Rao, who had earlier served as Home Minister in the N.T. Rama Rao government in united Andhra Pradesh, also found a place in the Cabinet.

TDP politburo member S. Chandramohan Reddy was also inducted.

Pitani Satyanarayana, who had quit Congress and joined TDP on the eve of 2014 elections, was among the new ministers.

Out of 21 members of the state assembly, who defected from YSR Congress to the TDP, three were rewarded with ministerial berths.

They are Akhila Priya (Kurnool district) Amarnath Reddy (Chittoor) and Adinarayana Reddy (Kadapa).

The other ministers who took oath were Kalva Srinivasulu (Anantapur district), N. Anandbabu (Guntur), Sujay Krishna Ranga Rao (Vijayanagaram) and K.S. Jawahar (West Godavari).

Among the new ministers, only Kala Venkat Rao, Chandramohan Reddy and Pitani Satyanarayana have an experience of serving as ministers in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Naidu dropped five ministers and inducted 11 to take the strength of his Cabinet to 26.

Those dropped were Palle Raghunath Reddy, R. Kishore Babu, B. Gopalakrishna Reddy, P. Sujata and K. Mirnalini.

This was the first expansion after Naidu took over as the first Chief Minister of the new Andhra Pradesh on June 9, 2014.

Nineteen ministers including two from TDP’s ally Bharatiya Janata Party, had also taken oath along with him.