M A I N   N E W S

Telangana is country’s 29th state
* K Chandrashekar Rao takes oath as maiden CM
* 11-member Cabinet inducted
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, June 2
After leading the statehood movement for 13 years, Telangana Rashtra Samithi founder president Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (60) was today sworn in as the first Chief Minister of the new state of Telangana amidst massive celebrations.

As Telangana made its tryst with destiny as the 29th state of India, KCR, as the TRS chief is known in political circles, took the oath of office along with 11 others at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan.

Governor ESL Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the ministers as reports of celebrations poured in from across the 10 districts of the new state, including Hyderabad.

It was a historic moment for the 3.5 crore people of Telangana as their six-decade-long statehood dream became a reality.

At the stroke of midnight, the President’s rule was lifted and the new state took birth, ending a prolonged struggle for a separate identity.

The highlight of KCR’s Cabinet was the induction of his son K Taraka Rama Rao and nephew T Harish Rao. Despite being widely seen as an architect of the Telangana movement, KCR has been facing allegations of nepotism and family rule. Both his son and nephew are expected to get plum portfolios.

TRS sources said M Mahmood Ali, a member of the Legislative Council, and Dr Rajaiah are likely to be made the Deputy Chief Ministers.

This is in tune with the pre-poll promise made by the TRS that a Muslim leader would be made a Deputy Chief Minister. The others who took oath were N Narasimha Reddy, P Srinivas Reddy, E Rajender, T Padma Rao, P Mahender Reddy, Jogu Ramana and Jagdish Reddy. The Cabinet is likely to be expanded in a couple of weeks.

In the recent general election, the TRS won a decisive mandate, bagging 63 seats in the 119-member Telangana Assembly. The party’s strength was further bolstered today with the entry of two BSP MLAs — Indra Karan Reddy and K Konappa — into its fold.

Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony at 8.15 am, KCR drove to the Gun Park to pay tribute at the Martyrs Memorial, which was raised in the memory of 369 students who died in police firing in the 1969 Telangana agitation. He later took part in a parade to commemorate the birth of the new state and then headed to the state secretariat where he chaired his first Cabinet meeting.

In his first address as the Chief Minister, KCR said he was determined to provide corruption-free government with a sustained focus on welfare of the weaker sections.

Earlier, Narasimhan was sworn in as the Governor of Telangana on Monday. Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta administered the oath to Narasimhan, who will be the common Governor to Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh.

He will also oversee law and order in Hyderabad, which will serve as a common capital of the two states for 10 years before becoming the permanent capital of Telangana.

The President’s rule will continue to be in force in the residuary AP till June 8 when the Chief Minister designate and Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu will take oath.

Naidu stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony of KCR, his one-time colleague-turned-bitter adversary. TDP sources said Naidu was not personally invited to the event by the TRS leadership, though a formal invitation reached him through official channels.

Soon after taking over the reins of the new state, KCR unveiled a series of sops for the government employees.

Fact sheet

Location: Falls between two rivers — Krishna and Godavari

Neighbours: Shares boundaries with AP, Maharashtra, K’taka, Chhattisgarh and Odisha

Size: India’s 12th largest in terms of area (1.14 lakh sq km) and population (3.52 crore)

Assembly seats: 119

Lok Sabha seats: 17

Assembly representation: TRS 63, Congress 21, TDP 15, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen 7, BJP 5 and Others 8

Districts: Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Medak, Khammam, Mahaboobnagar, Warangal, Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda and Hyderabad

Capital: Hyderabad (will also be Andhra Pradesh capital for 10 years)

Religions: Hindus (86%), Muslims (12.4 %), Christians (1.2 %)

Languages: Telugu (76%), Urdu (12%), others (12%)

Literacy: 67.2 % (male 75.6%, female 58.77%)





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