Hyderabad, Oct 28 (IANS) The Congress finally rewarded actor-turned-politician K. Chiranjeevi for merging his Praja Rajyam Party by inducting him in the union cabinet as minister of state with independent charge while M.M. Pallam Raju, who has been minister of state for defence since 2006, has been elevated to cabinet rank.
Four other MPs from Andhra Pradesh were inducted as ministers of state. Brief profiles of the ministers:
Pallam Raju: A three-time MP from coastal Andhra, Pallam Raju has made a mark for himself in New Delhi since 2006. The 52-year-old suave and soft-spoken Raju represents Kakinada.
Born in the coastal East Godavari district, the son of former union minister M.S. Sanjeevi Rao did his schooling in Hyderabad and engineering in electronics and communications from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. He obtained his MBA from Temple University, Philaladelphia.
First elected to Lok Sabha in 1989, Raju was the youngest MP in ninth Lok Sabha.
The leader from Kapu community was re-elected to Lok Sabha in 2004 and inducted minister of state for defence in January 2006. Re-elected to Lok Sabha in 2009, he continued in the same portfolio in UPA-II.
Chiranjeevi: Possibly the most famous personality in the state, he is from the same caste as Pallam Raju. After dominating Telugu film industry for three decades, he entered politics in 2008 by floating Praja Rajyam Party (PRP).
Unlike many of his blockbusters, the PRP proved a flop in 2009 elections, winning only 18 seats in 294-member assembly and drawing a blank in Lok Sabha elections.
He faced embarrassing defeat from an assembly constituency in his native East Godavari district but was elected from temple town of Tirupati. With many leaders quitting PRP, the Telugu superstar was facing uncertain future.
The Congress offer to merge his PRP with the ruling party came as a face saving for Chiru, as he is popularly known. Under pressure from his legislators to protect their interests, Chiru struck a deal with Congress last year. Two of his legislators were inducted in the state cabinet. He also quit the assembly to pave way for his election to Rajya Sabha in April this year. Congress fulfilled its promise by inducting him into the central cabinet.
Kotla Surya Prakash Reddy: Son of late chief minister Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy, Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy has been rewarded for his loyalty to the Congress and Gandhi family. A three-time MP from Kurnool, he remained with Congress despite YSR Congress Party trying to woo him.
Kurnool in Rayalaseema is his family stronghold. By inducting him, the Congress has tried to maintain the regional balance and also gave representation to the politically powerful Reddy c8mmunity.
The 61-year-old was fir t elected to Lok Sabha in 1991. He was elected again in 2004 and 2009. An arts graduate from Nizam College in Hyderabad, he has served on various parliamentary committees.
Killi Kruparani: She has become the third woman minister from Andhra Pradesh. Like D. Purandareswari and Pannabaka Lakshmi, she also comes from the coastal Andhra region. By inducting her, the Congress has given representation to north coastal Andhra as Chiranjeevi has become the fourth minister from politically significant south coastal Andhra.
A MBBS from Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam, Kruparani represents Srikakulam constituency. The 57-year-old has become a minister during her first term as Lok Sabha member. She comes from Kalinga, a backward class community.
Sarve Satyanarayana: Another loyalist of Gandhi family, Satyanarayana has been inducted to give representation to Telangana region and also Madigas, a scheduled caste. Though hailing from Telangana, Satyanarayana is not active like some other Congress MPs for separate statehood to the region.
A trade union leader, he quit his government job to join politics in 1980s. He was first elected to state assembly on a Telugu Desam Party ticket in 1985, but later joined Congress party.
Always at the forefront of agitations and protests, he was elected to Lok Sabha for the first time from Siddipet constituency in Medak district in 2004 and was re-elected in 2009 from Malkajgiri. The 58-year-old is a law graduate from Osmania University.
Porika Balram Naik: Like Satyanarayana, he also refused to join other party MPs from Telangana to resign for separate state. A tribal, Naik has been rewarded for his loyalty. From a humble police constable to a central minister, Naik has come a long way.
The 48-year-old Naik is first time MP from Mahabubabad constituency. Born to a poor family in Warangal district, Naik began his his career as a police constable but later joined the telecom department. He quit his job to start a real estate business.
Joining Congress on the eve of 2009 elections, he defeated retired IPS officer D.T. Naik of erstwhile PRP in Mahabubabad.