India, June 18 -- The induction of Kavuri Sambasiva Rao (in pic) and JD Seelam from Andhra Pradesh into the central cabinet fits into the Congress game plan of tackling the twin problems of the Telangana issue and Jaganmohan Reddy in the run-up to the 2014 elections.
Political circles say by inducting Rao, a five-term MP and senior leader, into the cabinet and making him a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee, the party has cleared the way for a counterweight to Telangana.
Rao, who hails from coastal Andhra, was leading the campaign against Telangana statehood and had threatened to quit the party on the issue.
Secondly, his induction is expected to send the message to the powerful Kamma community, which was slowly getting disenchanted with the Congress and moving away to the Telugu Desam Party or YSR Congress.
The other minister, D Seelam, is a Dalit Christian, also from the coastal Andhra region, and has been organising a series of meetings to draw the community to the Congress.
The Dalit Christians, a sizeable vote bank had voted for the Congress in the 2004 and 2009 polls but to have shifted their loyalty to the YSR Congress.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.