Telangana will have to wait a while before it finds a representation in the Narendra Modi cabinet.
For now, three leaders -- Venkaiah Naidu and Nirmala Sitharaman of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Telugu Desam Party’s Ashok Gajapati Raju -- who are set to be a part of Team Modi, are from the Seemandhra region.
Sitharaman, the BJP's national spokesperson, is likely to be the new commerce minister with independent charge and Naidu is expected to get urban development.
Though Naidu and Sitharaman hail from Andhra Pradesh they are not seen as leaders representing the state. Gajapati Raju, who has an extremely clean record and loads of experience, is a pick of the leaders. A seven-time legislator, he was part of both the NT Rama Rao and Chandrababu Naidu cabinet.
He served as the finance minister in the Chandrababu government.
Leaders from Telangana are left wondering why not a single MP from the new state, which will come into existence on June 2, finds a place in the Modi-led government. Senior BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya was part of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, but his name is not in circulation, sources told rediff.com.
“This is not intentional, but Modi needs more time before taking a decision on Telangana. We have been assured of a very good package for the new state and that is what matters more at this time,” a BJP leader said, requesting anonymity.
BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar, former Karnataka chief minister Sadanand Gowda and GM Siddesh will be part of the cabinet. A six-time MP from Bangalore South Kumar is expected to get a plum post. Gowda is likely to get railways and Siddesh will be rewarded for their clean image.
Siddesh belongs to the powerful Lingayat community, which can decide the fate of politicians in Karnataka.
B S Yeddyurappa, who was in the race at first, has been left out for now. He is likely to be made the state BJP president. There are a corruption charges against him and unless cleared, he will not get a berth in the Modi government.
An MP elected from Shimoga, Yeddyurappa, however, points out that he was not disappointed. “I am happy to be part of the Modi team, which helped him win the elections. As far as the cases against me go, I maintain that it was a conspiracy and very shortly I will come out clean.”