Chandrababu Naidu, on the other hand, points out that everyone in the party will have to work hard to consolidate their position. Vicky Nanjappa reports.
Nara Lokesh, the son of Telegu Desam Party supermo Chandrababu Naidu, is an exciting prospect for the party.
Lokesh, 31, an alumnus of the Stanford and Carnegie Mellon Universities who joined the TDP in May 2013, says he’ll be part of the party politics, but won’t contest elections this year.
“Even if you are the son of the top leader of the party, one needs to work and if you don’t you do not succeed,” Lokesh says.
His father, on the other hand, points out that everyone in the party will have to work hard to consolidate their position.
Chandrababu Naidu, who does have a lot of hopes from his son, however does not reveal much about him. “Everyone needs to work hard for their position”, he says.
He says that the focus at the moment is on the Telangana issue. “I understand that the people of Telangana want a separation while Seema-Andhra wants the state to be united. I want to ensure that everyone is happy, and at times it is very hard to take a stand on the issue since it is like deciding between two sons. However we have raised several points and will debate them in the Parliament too. A meeting with Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh on Monday was fruitful. We held discussions for nearly an hour, but not once did we discuss an alliance,” he says.
“The entire meeting was about Telangana issue and how the Congress has used the issue to pursue its selfish electoral agenda. We want a lot of changes and the manner in which the Telangana bill has been presented is just not acceptable to anyone of us. I had exposed the Telangana conspiracy a couple of months back. There is a clear cut political conspiracy involved in this issue. The prime minister had assured that this issue will be resolved only through discussion and more importantly consensus by all parties. There appears to be no consensus at all and issues cannot be decided when there is so much unrest on the issue,” he adds.
“We will fare very well in the forthcoming elections. The focus is the grievances of the public and I am sure that the voter has heard us loud and clear. We can discuss alliances later, but the prime focus of the TDP during the elections would be equal justice for every region of Andhra Pradesh,” Chandrababu Naidu points out.
Meanwhile, Lokesh is doing everything possible to ensure that his father is heard all over. His handles the social networking wing of the party and launched a popular campaign: ‘Bring Back Babu’.
Lokesh says that currently they are into data analytics through which “we will study and define the political battle of 2014”.
“We are analysing the voters, their mindsets, so that this could be used effectively during the campaign. The analysis is being conducted according to the voter rolls, their age, caste and this gives us a better understanding of the peoples’ needs which will be addressed by our party. The job is very exciting,” he says.
On Telangana, Lokesh says that the issue could have been handled better.
“The government ought to have taken into consideration all the demands of the people. It has been pointed out by us that the interests of all regions need to be taken care of. Instead of messing up the entire issue, the government should have brought all to the table and discussed the matter before taking a decision. The TDP will continue to protect the interests of all the regions,” he says.
The party workers of the TDP say that they are happy that Lokesh is taking an active part.
“He has made his intentions clear that he will not contest the elections this time and will work for the party instead. It is good to see that he wants to learn things and come up the hard way instead of just depending on father’s name”, a TDP worker says.
Political observers in Andhra Pradesh are of the view that this was bound to happen like it happens in every party run by a family. Naidu would have roped in his son two years back itself, but was sceptical of the dynasty accusation, an expert says.
However his decision was influenced by the appointment of Akilesh Yadav as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
The experts, however, point out that it is difficult to say how much of an impact Lokesh will make to the TDP and its prospects. He is learning and it is good that he has decided not to contest the elections this year.
“Currently Lokesh is not the priority for Naidu, but getting back to power, which he has stayed out of for nearly 10 years, is his main objective. How much the son will help him is something that one needs to see”, the expert notes.
Image: Nara Lokesh