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TDP gets back key portfolio of Civil Aviation

After a gap of six years, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a key partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre, has secured a key portfolio of Civil Aviation.

K. Ram Mohan Naidu, who took oath as a Cabinet minister on Sunday, will have charge of the portfolio, handled by the BJP’s Jyotiraditya Scindia in the previous Cabinet.

The TDP, which is the second biggest party in the NDA after the BJP, had reportedly insisted on the portfolio of Civil Aviation.

This development is significant as the new TDP-led government in Andhra Pradesh will be looking to fast-track the development of the greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram near Visakhapatnam and also speed up work on some pending projects.

In 2014 too, when TDP was part of the BJP-led NDA government, it was given the Civil Aviation portfolio.

Senior TDP leader P. Ashok Gajapati Raju was then made the Civil Aviation Minister. Y.S. Chowdary was then inducted as Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences. Both the ministers had resigned in 2018 when the TDP walked out of the NDA over the issue of special category status.

This time too, the TDP has secured two ministerial berths. Ram Mohan Naidu, a three-time MP from Srikakulam, has become the youngest-ever Cabinet minister. He is the son of late senior TDP leader K. Yerran Naidu, who had also served as a Union Minister.

Dr Chandra Sekhar Pemmasani, a first-time TDP MP from Guntur, took oath as Minister of State. He has been appointed as Minister of State for Rural Development and Communications.

Andhra Pradesh has received another ministerial berth this time. Bhupathi Raju Srinivasa Varma, a first-time BJP MP from Narsapuram constituency, has been made Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Steel.

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