The value of assets of Nara Lokesh, Telugu Desam Party general secretary and son of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, has gone up by a mind-boggling 23 times in a span of five months.
Lokesh, who filed his nomination papers for an MLC seat on Monday, submitted an affidavit to election authorities, indicating that the total value of his assets is around Rs 330 crore, including Rs 273.84 crore in the form of shares in Heritage Foods, fixed assets worth Rs 18 crore and ancestral property worth Rs 38.52 crore. Besides, he had loans of Rs 6.27 crore.
The details of assets furnished by Lokesh to the Election Commission are in sharp contrast to the assets declared by him in public on October 19, 2016. As part of “transparent” declaration of his family assets every year, he said the total value of properties owned by him was only Rs 14.50 crore, including Rs 2.52 crore in the form of shares in Heritage, Rs 1.64 crore worth shares in other companies and a car worth Rs 93 lakh. He also declared that he had taken loans of Rs 6.35 crore.
In fact, the Heritage Foods sold its retail business wing to Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Ltd on November 8 last and retained only 3.65% stake worth Rs 295 crore in it. Yet, the value of shares held by Lokesh in the Heritage Foods has gone up from Rs 2.52 crore to Rs 273.84 crore.
Lokesh clarified that while declaring his assets in October, he had given the original amount invested to get the shares in the company. “So, it is not correct to compare apples with oranges,” he said, pointing out the fluctuation in the stock market.
On the increase in the value of shares in Heritage Foods, Lokesh said it was the result of a rise in share prices of the new company after the sale of the loss-making retail division to the Future Group. “The growth is not lined to this sale, but to the wrong comparison of purchase price of shares long ago to the current market price in the affidavit to the EC,” he said.
In the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission, Lokesh also declared the assets of his wife, Nara Brahmani, and two-year old son Devansh.
In October, the total value of Brahmani’s assets was shown as Rs 5.38 crore and that of Devansh was worth Rs 11.70 crore. But In the election affidavit, the value of Brahmani’s assets was shown as nearly Rs 28 crore. The assets Devansh remained more or less same.
In October, Lokesh had also declared the assets of his father Chandrababu Naidu and mother Bhuvaneshwari. While Naidu’s net worth was shown at Rs 67 lakh, his wife Bhuvaneshwari, who is the managing director of the family enterprise Heritage Foods, was shown to possess assets worth Rs 33.66 crore.