Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy took charge at the state secretariat in Amravati at “the auspicious time of” 8.39 am on Saturday and his 25-member Cabinet was also sworn-in. Senior bureaucrats, secretariat staff and other leaders welcomed him amid Vedic chants and hymns by pundits, The Hindu reported.

“With God’s and your blessings, I will fulfill your aspirations and live upto your expectations,” Reddy wrote on Twitter after assuming office.

Among his first duties, Reddy signed three files today. It was related to increasing the salaries of Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHA workers from Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 per month.

He signed a file for Central approval for Anantapur Greenfield Expressway, which is expected to link the State capital to Rayalaseema, and third order was for renewal of journalist health insurance.

He later had a brief meeting with secretariat staff and spoke to the Secretaries of all departments.

Cabinet Expansion

Twenty-five new ministers were also inducted into Reddy’s Council of Ministers. State Governor ESL Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the ministers at a public ceremony adjacent to the Secretariat at Velagapudi in capital Amaravati, PTI reported.

The cabinet has five deputy chief ministers – the first in any state in India – and three women.

As promised, Reddy gave Cabinet berths to seven legislators from the backward classes, five from the Scheduled Castes, four from the Kapu and Reddy communities and one each from the Scheduled Tribes and Muslims. The Kamma community, which dominated the previous Chandrababu Naidu Cabinet, was given just one berth. Even the Kshatriya and the Vysya communities got one berth each.

He brought back senior leaders Botsa Satyanarayana, Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose, Pinipe Viswaroop, Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao, Balineni Srinivasa Reddy and Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy – who worked as ministers in his late father YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s Cabinet.

Balineni Srinivasa Reddy and Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose resigned from their Cabinet posts in the previous Congress government and had joined Jagan’s party.

He also gave equal representation from all regions of Andhra Pradesh: East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna districts, where the Reddy’s YSR Congress Party bagged sizeable number of seats, got three Cabinet berths each. Kurnool, Chittoor, SPS Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur and Vizianagaram districts got two each while Anantapuramu, Kadapa, Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam got one each.

Reddy congratulated the members of the new cabinet. “Every step we take should be for the betterment of our people of AP. Let’s set an example with our work. All the very best to you,” he said on Twitter.

On Friday, Reddy had said that the Cabinet would be reshuffled two-and-a-half years later after a mid-term review of the government’s performance.