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Two PRP legislators join Kiran’s cabinet, Shankar Rao sacked

The merger of erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party with the ruling Congress was formalised on Thursday with the induction of two PRP legislators into the N Kiran Kumar Reddy Cabinet.

Governor ESL Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to MLC C Ramchandraiah and MLA Ganta Srinivas at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimhan, MLA K Chiranjeevi, PCC President Botsa Satyanarayana and other leaders attended the swearing-in-ceremony held at 11.45 am.

Ganta had earlier represented TDP in the Rajya Sabha and was elected from Chodavaram constituency in Visakhapatnam in 2009 elections on PRP ticket. Similarly, Ramchandraiah has served as a minister in NTR’s cabinet and was also elected as a member of Lok Sabha. He was among the founding members of the Praja Rajyam Party and he was elected to the legislative council in March last year.

With the induction of two ministers, the strength of the State Cabinet rose to 39, including the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, about an hour after the swearing in ceremony, Kiran Kumar Reddy has sent a letter to the Governor requesting him to sack Handlooms and Textiles Minister Dr P Shankar Rao from his cabinet. It may mentioned that Shankar Rao was asked to submit his resignation on Wednesday. However, the minister refused to oblige saying that he would submit his resignation directly to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Subsequently, the Chief Minister himself took the initiative to sack him.

AICC Secretary KE Krishna Murthy later told reporters at Gandhi Bhavan that a full-fledge cabinet expansion would be taken up soon to fill five vacant slots in the State cabinet. He said more MLAs from the Telangana region would be inducted into the cabinet. (INN)

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