Anumula Revanth Reddy took oath as the chief minister of Telangana, India’s youngest state, at a mass event held at a stadium in Hyderabad in the presence of senior Congress leaders on Thursday and at the venue itself signed files implementing the party’s pre-poll guarantees.
Senior Congress leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka took oath as the lone deputy chief minister.
The 10 others who took oath as ministers were N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, Damodar Raja Narasimha, Komatreddy Venkat Reddy, Duddila Sridhar Babu, Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, Ponnam Prabhakar, Konda Surekha, Danasari Anasuya aka Seethakka, Tummala Nageshwara Rao and Jupally Krishna Rao. Six more slots are to be filled.
In his first act as chief minister, 54-year-old Revanth Reddy signed the files to implement the six guarantees that had helped the Congress come to power.
The Congress ended the rule of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, which had held sway in the state since its formation in 2014.
The guarantees in the Congress manifesto were modelled on the five guarantees the party had offered neighbouring Karnataka ahead of the May elections there. Of these Karnataka guarantees, four have been implemented.
The Congress government in Karnataka had formally decided to implement the guarantees at its first cabinet meeting, held within hours of chief minister Siddaramaiah and a few other ministers taking the oath of office. Revanth Reddy, however, signed the file in full public view at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad where the swearing-in was held.
The ceremony was named “The swearing-in of Telangana people’s government”, a promise the Congress had made to the electorate amid widespread allegations that the BRS leaders, including chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, were inaccessible to the people.
Hindu, Muslim and Christian priests were present on the stage to bless the newly installed chief minister in keeping with the secular traditions of the ruling party.
In his brief address to the audience, Revanth Reddy said the iron barricades around Pragathi Bhavan, the chief minister’s official residence, had been removed earlier in the day to allow people to easily visit him. He invited the people to attend the first Praja Darbar — where citizens can air their grievances — at his official residence from 10.30am on Friday.
He had earlier promised to rename Pragathi Bhavan as Dr B.R. Ambedkar Raja Bhavan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Revanth Reddy and offered all support.“Congratulations to Shri Revanth Reddy Garu on taking oath as the Chief Minister of Telangana. I assure all possible support to further the progress of the state and the welfare of its citizens,” Modi said in a message on X.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, his deputy D.K. Shivakumar, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and Trinamul Congress Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien were among those who attended the swearing-in, held before about 100,000 people.
Revanth Reddy had invited Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin, too, but he didn’t come, apparently because of the flood situation in his state. “During our phone conversation, I extended my warmest congratulations and best wishes to Thiru @revanth_anumula, as he prepares to be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Telangana. Wishing him a successful and impactful tenure,” Stalin posted on X.
Before taking the oath, Revanth Reddy rode an open vehicle along with Sonia and took a lap of the stadium waving at the supporters thronging the galleries.
Popular among the people as “Sonia Amma (mother)”, the former Congress president is widely recognised as one of the driving forces behind the formation of Telangana, through the division of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh state, where the party had long held sway until political dynamics changed with the arrival of actor-turned-politician N.T. Rama Rao and his Telugu Desam Party in the early 1980s.