Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had finally made up his mind to give a chance to the Muslims in his Cabinet at almost end of the term. He had been keeping the Muslims out of his Cabinet from the day he was sworn in as Chief Minister in June 2014. There were several requests from the community to give them due share in the cabinet.
He did not take their requests into consideration till the by-election to the Nandyal Assembly seat was forced on him. The sudden death of sitting MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy had forced Chandrababu Naidu to take a look on the Minorities. It was here that he had realised the non-inclusion of the Muslim community in his cabinet. He had then promised to do justice to the community had had promised former minister N MD Farooq to be made the chairman of the AP Legislative Council.
It had worked for him and the Telugu Desam Party had won the Nandyal Assembly seat in the by-election. Subsequently, Chandrababu Naidu had fulfilled the promise and made Farooq as chairman of the Legislative Council. Now, after severing ties with the BJP, Chandrababu Naidu is completely banking on the votes of the Muslims to retain his power in the next elections.
Keeping this in view, the TDP chief is promising Cabinet berth for the Muslims. He had first committed this in the Guntur meeting the other day. According to the sources, he is likely to induct Muslim MLC Shariff from West Godavari district into the Cabinet. He is looking at the possibility of his Cabinet expansion and reshuffle before the next round of Assembly session scheduled to begin on September 6.
Well, Chandrababu Naidu could have inducted Shariff into the Cabinet four years ago as Shariff had been the MLC since then. He did a similar thing in the case of Minister P Narayana, who was not a member of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council. Even in the case of his son Nara Lokesh and Minister Somireddi Chandra Mohan Reddy, the Chief Minister had included them in the Cabinet by taking them into the Legislative Council.
But, now with just six months left for the government to complete its five-year term, Chandrababu Naidu is taking the Muslims into the Cabinet fully banking on them to vote for him. It is to be seen if the community trusts him and stands by him in the elections.