In an attempt to buy peace with Telangana, Damodar Rajanarasimha has been appointed the new Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh by the Congress. He is currently the state’s higher education minister and took charge of agriculture, after YSR’s brother Vivekananda Reddy quit as Minister.
Mr Rajanarsimha is from the Telangana region which has been at the centre of a huge separatist movement. After initially promising that Andhra Pradesh would be bifurcated to create a new Telangana state, the central government backtracked because of huge protests in the state. Politicians across different parties from Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema objected to the division.
Telangana campaigners continue to press for their own state. Earlier this week, Congress MPs met the Prime Minister in Delhi and demanded that the party must make its stand clear on the future of their region. Otherwise their position politically becomes untenable.
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Kiran Kumar Reddy, is from Rayalaseema. The Congress has been trying to appease Telangana by giving its representatives key positions. However, Mr Rajanarasimha has not been among those who are aggressively fighting the party for a Telangana state. He belongs to the scheduled caste.
Earlier this month, Bhatti Vikramarka, also from Telangana was nominated to be deputy speaker while Nadendla Manohar from the coastal region was elected Speaker. Botsa Satyanarayana, transport minister, from the coastal region was appointed PCC chief. The congress leadership would be hoping the new appointments would be able to take care of growing rebel voices from different castes and regions.(NDTV)