Hyderabad : Telangana Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) President K. Chandrashekhar Rao has rewarded Mohammad Mahmood Ali once again for his loyalty by inducting him into his cabinet.
Ali, a member of the Telangana Legislative Council, was the only Minister to take oath along with Rao on Thursday.
Ali, 66, has been with KCR since the latter floated TRS to revive the movement for separate Telangana state in 2001.
The most recognisable Muslim face of TRS, Ali served as Deputy Chief Minister in KCR’s previous cabinet. There were two deputies to KCR, the other being Kadiyam Srihari, a Dalit leader.
Ali, who held the Revenue portfolio in the previous cabinet, is likely to be appointed Deputy Chief Minister again.
That KCR picked Ali before inducting others in the cabinet underlines the importance he is attaching to the Muslim community, TRS leaders say. He kept the portfolio of minorities’ welfare with him during the first term.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), a friendly party of KCR, extended support to TRS, except in eight constituencies in Hyderabad where it fielded its candidates. Several other Muslim organisations also backed TRS, which won 88 seats in the 119-member Assembly
The TRS chief had invited AIMIM to join the government but the party declined the request.
A businessman hailing from Hyderabad, Ali doesn’t have any mass base. He had contested the Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat in 2009 but badly lost. He was subsequently made a member of the Legislative Council.
Ali may remain the only Muslim in the KCR cabinet. Since the cabinet size can’t exceed 18 and KCR has to satisfy various groups, the lone Muslim member of Assembly of TRS, Shakeel Aamir, may not be inducted.
Shakeel was re-elected from Bodhan constituency in Nizamabad district.