Forty-six year old Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy (YSJR) has created a record of sorts by swearing in as many as five Deputy Chief Ministers (Dy CMs) in the 25-member Cabinet, which was unheard of in independent India’s history.
In the Indian Constitution, there is no provision of “Deputy CMs” appointment. However, 14 out of the 31 States and Union territories have appointed Dy CMs. Out of the 14 States and Union territories, Goa and Uttar Pradesh have two Dy CMs.
In retrospect, the appointment of Dy CMs is a “political compulsion” necessitated due to ‘coalition politics’ or to appease ‘caste and communal overlords within the party’ to keep the flock together.
Be that as it may, YSJR’s decision to appoint 5 Dy CMs has raised many eyebrows. Many political analysts wonder, what prompted YSJR to have so many deputes? Was it borne out of fear of political rivals’ attempts to exploit disgruntled leaders or the ones unsatisfied with their portfolios to split the party at the first opportunity?
YSJR has justified the appointment of 5 Dy CMs made in his pre poll ‘promise’ to ensure equal importance to all the communities.
Especially in Andhra Pradesh, the Kapus, who are predominant among the electorate, had been demanding their due recognition in the government. So are the other communities like SCs, STs and other backward castes, besides Vysyas and as well as Brahmins, who quite often are seen complaining of neglect due to the clout of more powerful Reddy and Khamma leaders.
Maybe keeping that fact in mind to ensure equal representation to all communities in the government, YSJR and his ‘think tank’ made their intentions clear to fulfill the party’s electoral promise, after registering an emphatic victory – winning 151 of the 175 assembly and 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the recently concluded general and state elections.
Among the Deputy CMs appointed YSJR has picked up one each from SC and ST, Kapu, BCs and other minorities.
Many political analysts feel, the social engineering that Jaganmohan Reddy has churned out is a far-sighted initiative to ensure that no community in the society feels neglected or left behind. Well, the Dy CMs post as such may not be constitutionally ‘valid’, yet certainly gives certain ‘aura’ in public eye as it is legal through a formal government order!