Hyderabad: With the ruling party intensifying its battle with the BJP, TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is likely to appoint more TRS leaders to nominated posts in party and government — hundreds of which are lying vacant — after Sankranti and balance caste equations in top appointments.
The CM’s move is also aimed to prevent disgruntled leaders from shifting loyalties to the BJP in the run-up to the 2023 polls. Sources said prominence will be given to leaders from the BC, SC, ST and minority sections.
Sources did not rule out the chances of a Cabinet reshuffle between Sankranti and the Budget Session in March.
There is only one vacancy in the Cabinet with the dismissal of Etala Rajendar in May last year. It is not clear whether Rao will merely fill the lone vacancy or undertake a full-fledged reshuffle.
The 17-member Cabinet including the CM is dominated by forward castes — with six from the Reddy community, four from the Velama community including the CM and one belonging to the Kamma community.
There are three ministers from the Backward Classes and one each from SC, ST and minority categories. There is no representation to the Madiga caste of the Scheduled Castes.
Sources said that Rao wants to balance caste equations while filling nominated posts by giving due representation to leaders from BC, SC, ST and minority categories.
Rao had initiated the exercise to fill nominated posts just before Huzurabad Assembly bypoll in October last and halted it after December 15. It is widely believed in TRS circles that the exercise was halted as the one-month period before Sankranti 16 is considered ‘inauspicious’. This period will end on January 16.
The CM had not undertaken a full-fledged exercise to fill nominated posts after the TRS retained power for in 2018 due to the successive elections until the recent MLC polls in December last.