The stage is set for yet another “son-rise” in Indian politics.
Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is expected to induct his only son Nara Lokesh into the state cabinet soon.
An indication to this effect was given by Naidu himself during an interaction with the party leaders from Telangana, who called on him at his Vijayawada residence on Thursday night.
“Yes, the chief minister told us he is going to include his son in the ministry very soon. He, however, did not indicate when he is going to expand the cabinet to accommodate Lokesh,” Telangana TDP president L Ramana told Hindustan Times.
Quoting Naidu, the TDP leader said Lokesh,34, had been striving hard to strengthen the party ever since he took a plunge into the active politics in 2013 as its youth wing president.
“He has been handling the party affairs effectively. And there have been representations from various party district units to Naidu to induct him in the cabinent. It’s time that Naidu entrust his son a bigger responsibility of a minister,” Ramana said.
Party sources said the cabinet expansion might take place in a week or two. Apart from Lokesh, Naidu might induct at least five others, including a couple of MLAs who had defected from YSR Congress.
“In any case, the cabinet expansion might take place before the commencement of the budget session of the state assembly slated for the last week of February,” sources said.
Lokesh, who is presently the general secretary of the TDP, is not a member of either state legislative assembly or legislative council.
If he is included in the ministry, he will have to get elected either to the assembly or the council.
There are no impending by-polls to any assembly constituency, but elections to a few MLC seats are due in April, party sources said indicating Lokesh could take council-route for his ministerial debut.
The talks of Lokesh’s induction into the state cabinet have been doing rounds in the party circles for quite some. It is learnt Lokesh, too, had been expressing his eagerness to join the cabinet on the lines of K T Rama Rao, son of Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
KTR, who joined the cabinet in 2014, has been holding key portfolios of IT and industries, and has been emerging as an heir apparent to his father.
However, Naidu had been dodging the issue stating that he would take a decision at an appropriate time.
Lokesh supporters have already started celebrating their leader’s possible anointment. They burst crackers and distributed sweets in Nellore to celebrate Naidu’s decision.
“It is a good sign for the party as well as the state. We are confident he will give a new direction to the state if he’s made a minister,” Nara Lokesh Seva Samithi president Pasam Srinivas said.