Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister Y S Jagan Reddy of YSR Congress Party on Saturday announced the appointment of MLA Mekathoti Sucharita in the state’s cabinet. Sucharita has now become the first woman Dalit minister to join the cabinet of 24 ministers. CM Reddy has given her one of the most significant portfolios of Home Minister of State as well as disaster management.

MLA from Prathipadu (SC) reserved constituency in Guntur district, Sucharita was given the Oath of Office and Secrecy by Governor ESL Narasimhan as a cabinet minister at a ceremony held on the lawns of state secretariat at Velagapudi in Amaravati.

Reportedly, CM Reddy took inspiration from his father, chief minister of combined Andhra Pradesh late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, who appointed the first woman home minister ever in his cabinet in 2009.

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“I was a social worker when I first met Dr Y S Rajashekara Reddy when he arrived in our district during his padayatra. I was very impressed by him, his dedication and commitment to understand and know the issues and problems faced by the people. I decided to join him then. I have always remained loyal to YSR family because of their commitment to work for the welfare of people,” Sucharita said, The Indian Express reported. Rajashekara Reddy groomed her and she has been a resolute loyalist of the YSRCP.

CM Reddy has announced five deputy ministers and allocated important portfolios to them. These include Pamula Pushpa Sri Vani (tribal welfare), Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose (revenue, stamps, and registration), Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas alias Alla Nani (health, family welfare, and medical education), K Narayana Swamy (Excise and Prohibition), Amzad Basha Sheik Bepari (Minority welfare).

Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister Y S Jagan Reddy of YSR Congress Party on Saturday announced the appointment of MLA Mekathoti Sucharita in the state’s cabinet. Sucharita has now become the first woman Dalit minister to join the cabinet of 24 ministers.

Apart from Sucharita, two more women are in CM Reddy’s cabinet—Pusha Sri Vani and Taneti Vanitha (women development and child welfare). His cabinet includes 11 upper caste ministers, seven from other backward classes, and five from Scheduled Castes and one each from ST and minority communities.

Sucharita was elected as an MLA in 2009 for the first time from Prathipadu (SC) segment on Congress party ticket. Then in 2011 when YSRCP was formed, she quit the Congress to join YSRCP. She contested in the by-elections in May 2012, winning by a majority of 17,500 votes. In 2014, she again contested the election but lost to Ravela Kishore Babu of Telugu Desam Party. In 2019 elections, she contested on YSRCP ticket and was elected to Assembly. She won the election against TDP’s powerful candidate, Dokka Manikya Varaprasad by a margin of under 7,000 votes.

Ruling state part YSRCP won a whopping 151 assembly and 22 Lok Sabha seats in the recently concluded assembly and Lok Sabha elections respectively in Andhra Pradesh. Of its total candidates who won, 15 are women MLAs.

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