Jagan Reddy will have five deputy CMs from different communities
In what qualifies as a surprising move, Andhra Pradesh's Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy will soon get five deputy Chief Ministers. The YSRCP Chief is learned to have made the announcement at the legislature party meeting held on Friday. Reportedly, the deputy CMs will belong to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Backward Class, Minority and Kapu communities. Is Reddy taking populism to another level?
Reddy registered a landslide victory in Andhra assembly polls, wresting power from TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu. Out of 175 assembly seats, Reddy's party won 151. He also won 22 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats, decimating TDP completely. On May 30, seven days after results were declared, Reddy took oath as CM. He is yet to announce his Cabinet ministers.
At the legislative meeting, Reddy apparently announced that his Cabinet of 25 ministers and five deputies will take oath on Saturday. He said most legislators will belong to weaker sections refuting rumors that people from the Reddy community will dominate the assembly. Reddy added the Cabinet will be reconstituted after a mid-term review of performances. Notably, his predecessor Naidu had two deputy CMs.
Interestingly, Kapu community is a forward community having a massive presence in East Godavari, West Godavari, Visakhapatnam, and Vizianagaram districts. When Naidu was in power, Kapus staged violent protests demanding reservation in jobs and education. Subsequently, Naidu passed a resolution giving 5% reservation to the community. The community can also swing elections, and Reddy clearly wants to keep them pleased.
One of the first decisions which Reddy took after his swearing-in ceremony was scrapping Naidu's Annadata Sukhibhava scheme. Instead, Reddy introduced a Rythu Bharosa scheme, which he promised in his manifesto, to benefit farmers. The cost of the project is Rs. 13,125 crore. Under the scheme, every farmer will get an incentive of Rs. 12,500/annum for four years to support Kharif cultivation.