* Babu to make him an MLC to retain him as a minister
Who is the most powerful man in Chandrababu Naidu's cabinet. Not the number-cruncher Yanamala nor the warhorse Devineni Uma. It is P Narayana, the corporate educationist who is a late entrant into the party.
He perhaps is the only person who was made a minister without ever participating in an election. He has been given the plum ministry of urban development. Seen essentially as a back-door funder-cum-fund-raiser, Narayana's advent was as sudden as it was surprising. His key position can be gauged by the fact that he was rushed to Uttarakhand when the Beas tragedy happened. He has also been entrusted with the all-important task of finding a suitable place for the state capital.
Now Chandrababu is all set to make Narayana, his latest Man Friday, an MLC.
The party will field State Urban Development Minister P Narayana for the lone Legislative Council seat in Andhra Pradesh for which by-election is due on August 21.
The Legislative Council seat fell vacant on May 21 after sitting Congress member K Veerabhadra Swamy resigned, though his term is up to March 29, 2019. TDP officials said Narayana is the obvious choice for the seat as he has to be elected to the Legislature within six months from June 8. The Election Commission of India announced the poll schedule to fill the vacancy under the MLAs quota and the formal notification will be issued on August 4. The last date for filing the nominations is August 11 and the last date for withdrawal is 14th. Polling, if required, will be held on August 21 and the result will be announced the same day, according to the state Chief Electoral Officer.
TDP expects that Narayana will be elected unanimously given its majority in the 175 member Assembly.