Pointing out that various government posts in Andhra Pradesh have been filled by people (including legislators from the YSR Congress Party) from the Reddy community, the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has accused the Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government of favouring the Reddy community, which is one of the political dominant communities in AP.
The YSRCP had earlier accused the TDP of favouring the Kamma community, which TDP supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu belongs to. After coming to power this year, it also announced a “socially inclusive" cabinet, stating that leaders from all communities will be given representation for diversity. Reddy also appointed five deputy chief ministers, giving representation to the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), minority, Kapu (caste) and backward class communities in AP. Out of the 25 berths, only a handful were given to the Reddy community.
The move may have not gone down well with Reddy leaders, who have always had a lions share of representation in the corridors of power, both in AP and Telangana. Since the cabinet announcement in June, senior YSRCP leaders Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy was appointed as an Advisor (public affairs) for AP, Y. V. Subba Reddy (Jagan’s uncle), MP from the Ongole seat, was appointed as chairman of the Tirumala Venkateswara temple at Tirumala and Mangalagiri MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy was made chairman of the AP Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), among other appointments.
A government order dated 2 July also showed that three persons, all from the Reddy community, were appointed as Advisors to the Information Technology (IT) department. The appointees were J. Vidyasagar Reddy, Srinath Devireddy and K. Raka Shekhar Reddy. “The YSRCP, when it was in the opposition, accused us of favouring only Kammas in all government appointments. Now it is doing the same. About 20-odd Reddys’ have been given plum posts in the government and its various corporations," said a senior TDP leader, who did not want to be quoted.
The TDP leader stated that appointments favouring one caste over another was not uncommon, but said that other communities in the previous government were also given space. Both the Reddy and Kamma communities, which dominate the political space in AP, comprise less than 10% of the population each.
A YSRCP functionary however denied the charge, and said that some of the senior party leaders who did not get cabinet berths had to be appointed somewhere. “Seniors like Alla Ramakrishna Reddy were promised with plum posts before the elections. It is true that all three PAs (personal assistant) of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s office are also from the Reddy community, but these changes does not mean we don’t give place to others," headed.
Political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy however said the appointments by the YSRCP were expected as there was large scale dissent from leaders of the Reddy community when the cabinet berths were announced. “They had received good representation even in the previous TDP government. It was expected that Jagan would compromise like this, so it is not surprising," he added.