Chandrababu's son Lokesh to make his political debut soon

Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu's only son Nara Lokesh will soon follow in his father's footsteps and may contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Lokesh, who is currently serving as the Executive Director of the family's Heritage Foods business group, is expected to make a formal announcement about his political debut soon, sources close to him said.

The 30-year-old MBA from Stanford University is now grooming himself to become an MP and is searching for a constituency that is predominantly rural, they said.

"Initially, Lokesh wanted to stand for the State Assembly and identified a couple of constituencies. But as both his father and father-in-law Nandamuri Balakrishna will be in the House, Lokesh has decided to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections," his close confidante, who did not wish to be named, revealed.

Previously, Chandrababu used to dismiss any talk about his son's political entry but maintain that it was for him to make the choice (between politics and business).

"It is up to him to decide on his political entry. I will not force anything on him," Chandrababu had said.

Lokesh has been managing the TDP's affairs from the backroom since 2009 and aiding his father in all political aspects besides helping his mother Bhuvaneswari in running the family business.

With Chandrababu fully engrossed in his foot march, Lokesh is virtually managing the party affairs from his Heritage office here.

All senior leaders are meeting him on a daily basis and discussing the party affairs. According to them, "Lokesh is now the de facto president." He has emerged as the key advisor to his father and has been designing the TDP's policy papers on different issues.

"Hitherto, Chandrababu used to take advice from many of us but now he's purely relying on his son. Lokesh is surely coming up with innovative ideas by putting his experience of working with the World Bank to good use," a politburo member of TDP pointed out.

Lokesh describes himself as the "cash transfer scheme evangelist" in his twitter profile as he was the one who designed the scheme and made it part of the TDP's manifesto in the 2009 elections.

Using Twitter as his platform, Lokesh has been lampooning his father's political adversaries, be it the Congress, the YSR Congress or the Telangana Rashtra Samiti.
He started making public appearances since October, accompanying Chandrababu on the "Vastunna...Meekosam" foot march.

He has been managing the entire logistics related to the marathon 2300-km foot march and constantly keeping his father updated with latest feedback on the yatra.

Apart from interacting with common people during the tours in different districts, Lokesh is also handling "media management" on his father's behalf.

Lokesh is busy identifying the constituencies where the TDP is "weak" and where there is a leadership crisis and focusing on strengthening the base.

He is also conducting a follow-up exercise in villages covered by his father in the yatra by encouraging the cadre to undertake foot marches locally and connect with people.

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