Chandrababu's son gearing up for major role in TDP

Chandrababu's son gearing up for major role in TDP

Nara Lokesh, son of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, appears to be gearing up to take up a key responsibility in the party.

An indication to this effect was available Wednesday when he briefly interacted with the media in the temple town of Tirupati. The only son of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister predicted that TDP would return to power in the 2014 elections.

"TDP alone has the strength to take on the Congress and it is the only party fighting for the people's cause," he said. Stating that TDP alone was an alternative to Congress, the 32-year-old also forecast that other parties would merge with the Congress like Praja Rajyam Party (PRP).

Lokesh, who was visiting his home district of Chittoor to attend a family ceremony, said his father's padayatra' beginning next month would further strengthen the party. Naidu is embarking on an 117-day padayatra from Oct 2. He plans to cover 2,320 km, interacting with farmers and others to know their problems.

While Naidu stays away from the state capital for nearly four months, his son is likely to run the party affairs. "I will continue to work as a party worker. What is important is fighting for the people's problems," remarked Lokesh, when asked if he was going to assume a major role in the party.

"I worked in 2009 elections and also by-election," he said, while evading a direct reply whether or not he planned to contest next elections. For the last few years, Naidu has been trying to groom Lokesh as his successor. A section of TDP leaders have demanded that Lokesh be appointed the president of Telugu Yuvatha, youth wing of the party.

Lokesh, who did MBA from Stanford University in the US, had been helping his mother Bhuvaneshwari in the family business. Lokesh is married to Brahmini, the daughter of his maternal uncle N. Balakrishna, a popular Telugu film star and son of TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao.

Naidu's attempts to groom Lokesh as his successor had made Naidu's elder brother-in-law N. Harikrishna unhappy. Harikrishna was keen to see his son Junior NTR, one of the leading actors of Telugu cinema, take the mantle.

However, Junior NTR, who had campaigned for the party along with Balakrishna in 2009 elections, in July this year ruled out joining active politics for now.

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