Chatterbox: Andhra CM seeks to correct religious imbalance in his govt

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Chief, Nara  Chandrababu Naidu, is looking around for a person who will correct the religious imbalance in his government. He has two vacancies in his 20 member cabinet after two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers, Kamineni Srinivas and Paidi Manikyala Rao, quit post the TDP-BJP split. But there isn’t a single Muslim minister in the government — simply because there are no Muslim MLAs in the TDP who won seats in 2014. 

The two MLAs in the party have crossed over from the YSR Congress. Giving berths to defectors on the basis of their religion when non-Muslim MLAs from the party are waiting for their turn could create problems. The party has two members in the Legislative Council who are Muslim — Nandyala Mohammad Farooq, chairman of the Council, and Mohammad Shariff, who is a political lightweight. What a conundrum! And, to think Naidu never had to worry about issues like this when he was with the BJP?

Age factor

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad’s daughter-in-law Aishwarya is being widely tipped as the RJD candidate from the Chhapra Lok Sabha constituency in the upcoming elections. Except that there is a discrepancy in her age records. According to electoral rolls, she is 25. But her school leaving certificate says she is 24. A candidate has to be at least 25 to be able to contest the Lok Sabha polls. If the discrepancy is caught, she will have to wait till the 2024 elections. The Yadav clan will surely find a way out.

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