For Telangana ministers, it’s a reward for keeping quiet

The inclusion of two Congress MPs from Telangana in the Union Cabinet has not enthused the region that is demanding a separate state. Sarvey Sathyanarayana, MP from Malkajgiri, a suburb of Secunderabad; and Porika Balram Naik, MP from Mahbubabad (ST), a newly created constituency annexed from Warangal and Khammam districts, have been made ministers in the Union Cabinet. They are widely seen to have been rewarded with Union Cabinet posts for their tight-rope walking on Telangana issue and to balance caste equations in the region.

Sathyanarayana, an advocate by profession, has maintained a fine balance between compassion for his Telangana colleagues and loyalty to the Congress.

While supporting the Telangana movement, he has always maintained that only the Congress will ultimately find a solution to the issue and refused to criticise the party for delaying taking a decision on the separate state issue. He has never criticised the Centre nor joined other MPs in their frequent sojourns to Delhi to demand Telangana.

When confronted by Telangana leaders, he deftly tells them that the Congress will do justice to the region and he supports the Telangana demand.

Sathyanarayana belongs to the Madiga community and the party has made him a minister to also offset the competing Mala community which is veering towards non-Congress parties.

While Sathyanarayana at least speaks about Telangana and the Congress stance but maintains a fine balance, the first-time MP from Mahbubadad P Balram Naik usually keeps to himself and never speaks out.

Naik is learnt to have been rewarded for his silent loyalty to the Congress. A former police constable, Naik never spoke about Telangana or the Congress's stand over the contentious issue. He, along with Sathyanarayana, are the only MPs from Telangana who never threatened to resign, never participated in a protest or demonstration, for Telangana.

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