Bandaru Dattatreya and Sujana Chowdary confirmed for Cabinet
BJP MP from Secunderabad Bandaru Dattatreya and TD Rajya Sabha member Sujana Chowdary to be inducted into Modi’s Central Cabinet in the expansion on Sunday. Sources said both the leaders have received invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The sole BJP MP in Telangana, Mr Dattatreya is a four-time Lok Sabha member and has also been a Union minister of state in the Vajpayee Cabinet. Incidentally the new state of Telangana does not have a single representative in the present Union Cabinet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced criticism, particularly from TRS leaders, for omitting Mr Dattatreya from his Cabinet. However, Mr Modi will be weighing the pros and cons of inducting Mr Dattatreya. Earlier it was being said that Mr Dattatreya, who is now 68 year, was not considered initially due to the age factor that had been imposed by the Prime Minister who did not want anyone above 65 in his Cabinet. Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, 67, and Ms Najma Hepthulla, 74, who were inducted into the Union Cabinet despite their age, disproved the theory that old members would not be inducted.
Meanwhile, TD circles are jubilant over the induction of another party leader into the Modi Cabinet after Mr Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who is presently the minister for civil aviation. Sources close to the TD Parliamentary Party said that Mr Naidu wanted two berths this time, one each for Telangana and AP. Telugu Desam has one Lok Sabha member and three Rajya Sabha members from Telangana and Mr Naidu reportedly conveyed to the PM that if he was not taking Mr Dattatreya from Telangana, one berth could be spared for a Telugu Desam MP.
Though Mr Venkaiah Naidu has been elected as an MP from Karnataka, he is being considered as a minister representing AP. Similarly Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, who was representing the Union Cabinet as Minister of State (Independent Charge) from AP, was subsequently elected from the state. The second berth for Telugu Desam will again be from Andhra Pradesh that is Parliamentary Party leader and close associate of Naidu, Sujana Chowdary.