TRS eyes eight Congress MLAs

Hyderabad: There is a plan behind the delay in the formation of the Cabinet and summoning of the Assembly.

Generally, after an election, whichever party comes to power forms the Cabinet and summons the Assembly to take oath by newly elected MLAs.

In 2014 immediately after the state results, on June 2, K. Chandrasekhar Rao took oath as Chief Minister along with 12 Cabinet ministers.

On June 20, he summoned the Assembly and within six months expanded his Cabinet in December 2014. But this time the Assembly results were declared on December 11 and Mr Rao took oath as Chief Minister on December 13 along with just one Cabinet minister. He is expected to take more than a month to form the Cabinet. The reason behind this is to give ample time to Congress MLAs to decide whether they want to jump ship and join the TRS. The Congress won 19 Assembly seats and to get Opposition status at least 12 members are required in the Assembly.

The TRS leadership wants to prevent the Congress from getting main Opposition party status in the Assembly and for this eight Congress MLAs have to defect.

In 2014 too, the TRS had encouraged defections but this was in order to strengthen its own position. This time, it is encouraging defections to further weaken the main Opposition party and the lure this time too, TRS sources say, is offering ministerial posts.

Mr Rao has decided that in the first phase of Cabinet formation representation will be given to every combined district. At present, Mr Rao and the only other minister who has been sworn in, Home Minister Mohmood Ali, are covering Medak  and Hyderabad districts.

The CM is likely to take eight more ministers into the Cabinet in the first phase to give representation to the remaining eight combined districts.

The total strength of the Cabinet should not be more than 18, including the CM. Once the Assembly is summoned, the MLAs will take oath and election for the Assembly speaker and deputy speaker will be held.

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