Nara Lokesh, general secretary of the ruling Telugu Desam Party, was on Sunday sworn in as the minister in the Andhra Pradesh cabinet, headed by his father and state chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Lokesh, who was recently elected as a member of legislative council under the MLAs’ quota, was administered oath of office and secrecy by governor ESL Narasimhan at a function held on the premises of Andhra Pradesh secretariat at Velagapudi in the new Andhra capital Amaravati.
He is likely to get the portfolios of information technology and Panchayat Raj.
Lokesh is the third generation politician of NTR family; the second generation includes his father, aunt Daggubati Purandeshwari who is a former Union minister, her husband Daggubati Venkateshwara Rao, a former state minister, and uncle Nandamuri Balakrishna, an MLA representing Hindupur assembly constituency in Anantapur district.
Apart from Lokesh, Naidu inducted 10 other new ministers while sacking five sitting ministers, all part of long-pending rejig of his cabinet. Of these new inductees are four who were elected on the opposition YSR Congress party ticket and subsequently defected to the TDP, along with 17 others.
However, these ministers technically will continue to remain YSR Congress members in the assembly. A petition filed by opposition party seeking disqualification of the defectors is still pending before Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, and the party even moved the high court seeking a direction to the Speaker to disqualify them.
Meanwhile, peeved with Naidu’s decision to drop him from the cabinet, senior leader Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy representing Srikalahasti assembly constituency in Chittoor district, resigned from his assembly membership on Sunday. He submitted his resignation letter to the assembly speaker as well as the chief minister. However, he said he would continue to remain a loyal to the party.