Political Pickle

Two Telangana ministers may get the pink slip

When Telangana was hit by the Intermediate Results fiasco last month, resulting in 26 students committing suicide, opposition parties, education activists and parents asked for Education minister G Jagadish Reddy to be shown the door. But chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao did not heed to the demand and it gave the impression that the regime was not sufficiently responsive and sensitive to the tragedy.  

But it now looks increasingly likely that Reddy will be axed in the next cabinet reshuffle that takes place in June. But ironically, that decision will have nothing to do with the Intermediate results though it will be made to seem that is the reason. If Reddy goes, it will be because of political reasons. 

Reddy hails from the erstwhile Nalgonda district which includes two Lok Sabha constituencies – Nalgonda and Bhongir (which also includes parts of erstwhile Rangareddy and Warangal districts). Though the Congress has always been strong in the district, the TRS had managed to defeat heavyweights like Jana Reddy and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy in the December assembly elections. 

On Thursday however, the Congress came back strongly to win both the Lok Sabha seats. In fact, Venkat Reddy was one of the winners, trumping the TRS in Bhongir constituency. Telangana PCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, one of the fiercest critics of the TRS, won from Nalgonda. 

Not that Jagadish Reddy did not take his political work seriously. In fact, even when the office of the Board of Intermediate Education in Hyderabad was witnessing protests almost everyday, he was seen focusing on politics, leading the TRS campaign in districts under his charge for the elections to the Mandal Parishads and Zilla Parishads in May. The outside chance that he may keep his job is if the areas under his charge do exceedingly well for the TRS in the local bodies elections. The results are yet to be declared.

Another senior minister whose district also saw a TRS heavyweight candidate losing, is on the hitlist as well. He was a surprise last-minute induction into the KCR cabinet in February this year

The KCR cabinet now has 11 ministers and can accommodate six more. 

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