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Chandrababu Naidu Takes Oath as the First CM of New AP

Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu was tonight sworn- in as the first chief minister of Andhra Pradesh post its bifurcation at a function at Nagarjuna Nagar, 18 kilometres from here.

"I will work as 'Coolie No.1' to rebuild the state into a Swarna (golden) Andhra Pradesh, a sunrise country and a knowledge hub. I will strive to make AP the No.1 state in the country with your participation and co-operation," Chandrababu said as he dedicated the TDP's victory in the elections to the Telugu people.

Governor ESL Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Chandrababu at 7:27 P.M., the auspicious time set for the occasion.

Several union ministers, chief ministers and top leaders of the BJP and other NDA parties were present on the occasion.

Chandrababu took his oath in Telugu amidst thunderous cheers by party workers. His cabinet with 19 ministers, including three women, was also sworn- in at the function.

The first meeting of the cabinet is scheduled to be held in the port city of Visakhapatnam although the date for it has not been fixed yet, Chandrababu said.

He paid obeisance at the statue of Telugu Talli (reverential mother of Telugus) on the dais before taking oath.

Braving the blistering heat, lakhs of people attended the ceremony on a sprawling 70-acre open site opposite Acharya Nagarjuna University.

Union ministers Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu, Anantha Kumar, Kalraj Mishra, Prakash Javadekar, Nirmala Sitharaman, Harsh Vardhan and Piyush Goyal attended the function.

Among the chief ministers in attendance were Parkash Singh Badal of Punjab, Manohar Parrikar of Goa, Vasundhara Raje Scindia of Rajasthan, Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh and TR Zeliang of Nagaland.

Veteran BJP leaders LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Tamil Nadu minister R Vaidyalingam, MDMK chief Vaiko, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, INLD leader Abhay Chautala, Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral and a host of other dignitaries also attended the event.

Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha PJ Kurien and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal were also present.

Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi was the star attraction at the event along with Telugu filmstars Pawan Kalyan, NTR Junior and Kalyan Ram.

Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, badminton great Pullela Gopichand, top industrialists like G Mallikarjuna Rao of GMR Group and a host of other VIPs, too, attended the function.

In all 19 ministers, including two from TDP's ally BJP, were sworn- in tonight along with Chandrababu.

Senior legislators KE Krishna Murthy, Yanamala Ramakrishunudu, Ayyannapatrudu, Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, N China Rajappa, Palle Raghunath Reddy, Pattipati Pulla Rao and Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy, who remained loyal to the party through thick and thin, were inducted into the new state's first cabinet.

Krishna Murthy and Rajappa are tipped to be designated as Deputy Chief Ministers in keeping with the election promise made by Chandrababu.

Ganta Srinivasa Rao, who served as a cabinet member in the previous Kiran Kumar Reddy government but returned to the TDP on the eve of the recent elections, was also made a minister.

Women legislators Paritala Sunita, Kimidi Mrunalini and Peethala Sujatha, too, found place in the Council of Ministers. Educationist P Narayana, who is not a legislator yet, was also sworn in. He is expected to be soon nominated to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council.

BJP MLAs Kamineni Srinivas and P Manikyala Rao were also given cabinet berths with the TDP making its ally a partner in the government.

Former union minister the late K Yerran Naidu's younger brother and three-time MLA Atchannaidu was made a minister for the first time.

First-time MLAs Ravela Kishore Babu and Kollu Ravindra also made it to the cabinet keeping with caste equations. Ravela belongs to the Scheduled Caste community while Ravindra is from a backward caste.

Of the 19 ministers, two are from the SC community while seven belong to the backward castes.

Barring Kadapa, all remaining districts have been given representation in the cabinet.

Yanamala and Kamineni Srinivas were the only ministers to take oath in English; all others took their oath in Telugu.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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