Hyderabad: Barely three months ahead of the Assembly elections, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao will be expanding his cabinet with the induction of Patnam Mahender Reddy.
Mahender Reddy will be sworn in as minister on Thursday afternoon by Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan at a simple ceremony to be held at Raj Bhavan
Mahender Reddy’s swearing-in will fill the lone vacancy in the KCR cabinet. The position was vacant since May 2021 when KCR had dropped Eatala Rajender from the cabinet.
Mahender Reddy is currently a member of State Legislative Council. His induction in the cabinet is seen as an attempt by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) to pacify him as he was expecting a party ticket to contest the coming Assembly elections from Tandur constituency.
There were reports that Mahender Reddy was planning to quit BRS and join Congress or BJP.
After KCR announced BRS candidates for 115 Assembly seats, Mahender Reddy had called on him and he was assured a cabinet berth.
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The BRS leadership also ensured a patch-up between Mahender Reddy and sitting MLA from Tandur Rohit Reddy. A cold war was going on between them ever since Rohit Reddy defected to BRS a few months after he was elected from Tandur as a Congress candidate in 2018.
After BRS named Rohit Reddy as its candidate from Tandur for the coming Assembly election, he called on Mahender Reddy and took his blessings by touching his feet.
This will be Mahender Reddy’s second stint as a minister in Telangana. He was a member of the first KCR cabinet between 2014 and 2018. He held the transport portfolio.
Mahender Reddy was with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) before joining BRS. He was elected as an MLA from Tandur in 1994, 1998 and 2009 on TDP ticket. He joined BRS before 2014 elections and was elected from Tandur. However, he lost the election in 2018 to Congress nominee Rohit Reddy.
In 2019, BRS made him a Member of Legislative Council (MLC). He was re-elected to Council from the local body authorities constituency in 2021.