Lokesh is all set to join father Naidu’s Cabinet – The Sunday Guardian

Telugu Desam Party national general secretary Nara Lokesh is set to join his father Chandrababu Naidu’s Cabinet in the reshuffle scheduled to take place on Sunday, 2 April. Lokesh, 34, has been elected unopposed to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council on Thursday.

Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan will administer the oath of office and secrecy to around six to eight new ministers at a venue next to the temporary Secretariat of Andhra Pradesh in Amaravati. The AP Cabinet has a team of 20 including the CM. Sources in the TDP said that Naidu might induct six to eight new faces in his Cabinet, but if he decides to drop more than four, the number may go up. Two or three ministers are likely to be dropped as per current indications.

Naidu has said that the new team will be his election team and the capacity to win the 2019 elections alone would be the criterion to select the dream Cabinet. “I will accommodate you all suitably, but don’t pressurise me,” he is believed to have told some of the aspirants.

Lokesh, who is still to become a minister, has assumed greater clout within the party as several ministerial aspirants called on him on Friday and Saturday. There is a general feeling in TDP that Lokesh would be steering the next election campaign of the party.

Naidu is expected to give priority to those who get on well with his son, a senior Cabinet minister who refused to be named to be quoted told The Sunday Guardian. MLA Bhuma Akhila Priya, 27, who lost her father and mother (both MLAs), will become a minister and is considered to be in Lokesh’s good books.

Another senior MLC and former minister, Somireddy Chanddramohan Reddy is being considered for Cabinet rank. He was one of the prominent senior TDP leaders who had asked the CM to make Lokesh a minister. Bonda Umamaheswara Rao, who openly offered to vacate his Assembly seat in Krishna district for the sake of Lokesh, too is being considered.

It is said that Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana will be retained due to Lokesh’s blessings despite the recent controversy surrounding him over leakage of a Class 10 question paper in one of the schools run by a corporate group owned by the minister.

Speculation is rife on the portfolios to be allotted to Lokesh. He is expected to be given youth oriented departments like IT and urban development and industries. The Stanford Business School-educated Lokesh resigned from the director’s post in his family controlled company,  Heritage Foods Limited. Lokesh will continue to be one of the three general secretaries of the TDP. 

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