Ending decades of struggle and wait, Telangana came into being as the 29th state of India when TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao was sworn in as chief minister at the head of a 11-member cabinet that included his son and nephew on Monday.
After he took charge of office at 12.57 hours, Rao approved the new emblem of Telangana - Kakatiya toranam with Charminar inside with lettering in Telugu, English and Urdu around a circle. He also appointed Rajiv Sharma as chief secretary and Mahendeer Reddy as DGP of Telangana.
Also, two leaders - Md Mahmood Ali and T Rajaiah - have been named as deputy chief ministers. Ali would handle revenue, while Rajaiah would handle medical and health department as well.
KCR has retained the portfolios of SC, ST, BC, Minorities Welfare, municipal administration and urban development, energy, coal, general administration and all the un-alloted portfolios.
60-year-old Rao, who quit the Telugu Desam Party and floated Telangana Rashtra Samiti in 2001 to champion the cause of separate statehood, was sworn in as chief minister by governor ESL Narasimhan. His son KT Rama Rao, nephew T Harish Rao and nine others were also sworn in as ministers. KT Rama Rao has been given Panchayat Raj and IT, while Harish Rao would be the minister for irrigation and legislative affairs.
The others who were sworn in as ministers were - Nayani Narasimha Reddy, Eatela Rajender, Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy, T Padma Rao, P Mahender Reddy, Jogu Ramanna and G Jagadish Reddy.
Earlier, Narasimhan, who was appointed governor of both the states, was administered the oath of office by Andhra Pradesh high court chief justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta.
There were overnight celebrations to herald the birth of the new state when crackers were burst and fireworks lit the night sky. Turning the clock back 57 years when Telugu-speaking Telangana region of Hyderabad was merged with Andhra State in November 1956, the new state of Telangana was born at the stroke of midnight. Telugu will now enjoy a unique privilege of being the langauge of two states - Telangana and residual Andhra Pradesh, thus becoming the only language apart from Hindi to be the dominant language in more than one state.
Soon after taking oath, Rao, popularly called KCR, vowed to root out political corruption and establish transparency in governance.
However, with regard to poll promise of waiver of farmer loan upto of Rs One lakh, Rao said a final decision will be announced only after meeting the bankers. The loan waiver scheme is expected to add Rs46,000 crore burden on the newly formed government.
In recognition of their contribution to the Telangana movement, KCR invited 400 non-political persons who included parents of Telangana martyrs, poets, intellectuals, economists, artists and sportsmen from the region for his swearing in ceremony.
Later, helming the first cabinet meeting, he said the first assembly session would be held from June 9 wherein oath would be administered to the newly-elected MLAs and a speaker and deputy speaker too would be elected. KCR visited Telangana martyrs memorial and offered floral tribute before taking the oath of office.