Andhra now adequately represented: Pallam Raju


New Delhi : The reshuffle of the council of ministers has given ample representation to Andhra Pradesh, M. Pallam Raju, who was made the new human resource development minister, said here Sunday.

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“People of Andhra Pradesh were feeling let down that it was not being adequately represented (in council of ministers). I think now it is being rectified and I thank Sonia (Gandhi) ‘ji’ and the prime minister for that,” Raju, a Congress MP from Kakinada in coastal Andhra Pradesh, said after being sworn in as cabinet minister.

Andhra Pradesh, a crucial state electorally for the Congress, got maximum representation of six in the rejig of the council of ministers, with five new faces and one elevated to the cabinet rank.

Raju has been elevated to the cabinet rank from being a minister of state for defence.

Raju credited the changes to Rahul Gandhi, saying he always wanted young representation.

“He (Rahul Gandhi) was always keen that younger representation to be brought in the cabinet. Now I think it is for us to prove the faith reposed on us,” Raju told CNN-IBN news channel.

Asked about his new role, Raju said: “I think Kapil Sibal has done good work and that needs to be carried forward”.

Telugu actor-turned politician K. Chiranjeevi, who merged his Praja Rajyam Party’s 18 MLAs with the Congress last year, has become a minister of state with independent charge.

Others from Andhra Pradesh to be inducted as ministers of state are Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy from Kurnool, Sarve Satyanarayana from Malkajgiri, Porika Balram Naik from Mahabubabad and Killi Kruparani from Srikakulam.