Clamour for ministerial berth for Nara Lokesh, son of N Chandrababu Naidu, the chief minister , has grown in AP with two senior leaders offered to sacrifice their seats for him. Buddha Venkanna, MLC from Krishna district and Bode Prasad, MLA from Penamaluru of Krishna district have expressed their readiness to leave their posts. “Mr Lokesh should be taken into the Cabinet since he is the face of the youth and also talented” Budhdha Venkanna, who is also the Vijayawada Urban TD President said. Bode Prasad said he has no information with regard to Lokesh’s entry nor did he receive any directions from the top leadership. However, if the party decides to field him from Penamaluru, I am ready, he added.
Another leader and MLC- Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy has stated that Nara Lokesh’s services are necessary for the state and a cabinet berth him will push the governance in a better way. Lokesh has wide knowledge on all matters and Amaravati and his entry will bolster the hands of Mr Naidu, Chandramohan Reddy said.
However, Mr Naidu may find it tough to take his son, who also the heir-apparent into the cabinet going by the responsibilities he has now at hand. Mr Lokesh has been looking after the organizational matters and also plays a key role in NTR trust, wooing NRIs for smart villages. His entry may also encourage power-centre politics in the party and cabinet, it is said.
If Mr Naidu wants to take him into the cabinet, he may have to sacrifice some from his own community in the list. At present, there are four ministers from his community besides Mr Naidu. They are- Prattipati Pulla Rao, Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, Paritala Sunitha and Kamineni Srinivas- who comes under BJP quota. Rumours doing rounds in the TD that Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao is also in the race apart from the likes of Payyavula Kesav, Gali Muddu Krishnama Naidu, Dhulipalla Narendra etc.
There is also another discussion going on in the party that Mr Lokesh may be sent to Rajya Sabha as the term of five members of the state comes to an end next month. The retiring members are: Sujana Chowdhury, presently the Union minister of state, CM Ramesh, Jairam Ramesh, Nirmala Sitaraman and JD Seelam. Going by the Assembly strength, the TD will get four seats and YSRC one. TD may have to support Nirmala Sitaraman for a second term under coalition dharma. It is unlikely that Sujana, who is mired in a foreign accounts case, and CM Ramesh be given a second chance.