Hyderabad: In swift political developments, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao Sunday dropped his deputy T. Rajaiah from cabinet and inducted MP Kadiam Srihari in his place.
Rao dropped Rajaiah, who was holding the medical and health portfolio, from the cabinet in the wake of criticism that the health department failed to take immediate steps to check spread of swine flu, which has claimed over 20 lives so far. There were also allegations of corruption in the health minister's office.
"On the advice of the chief minister, the governor has consented to drop T. Rajaiah from the council of ministers with immediate effect," said a statement from Raj Bhavan.
Srihari was swiftly sworn in as minister at a simple ceremony held at Raj Bhavan. Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan administered him oath of office and secrecy. The chief minister and some of his cabinet colleagues were present. Media was not invited to the ceremony.
Srihari has been appointed as the new deputy chief minister. He will hold the education portfolio.
The chief minister also made minor changes in the portfolios. G. Jagdish Reddy, who was holding education portfolio, will now look after energy. C. Laxmareddy, who was minister for energy, has now been given medical and health portfolio.
Srihari is a member of Lok Sabha from Warangal. He had earlier served as a minister in the cabinet of N. Chandrababu Naidu in united Andhra Pradesh.
He quit the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 2013 and joined Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).