August 15, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 14: It's son rise time in Telugu Desam. Nara Lokesh, son of former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu, will make his first ever public appearance on Independence Day.
Lokesh, who has always been confined to the four walls of his bungalow and college, is making a formal entry into public life on August 15 by participating in a function organised by NTR Memorial Trust, controlled by the Telugu Desam. He will hoist the national flag at 8.00 am at NTR Memorial Model School at Telugu
Vijayam at Gandipet. Incidentally, Telugu Vijayam was the venue where his grandfather and TD founder NT Rama Rao taught political lessons to party leaders.
Earlier, Lokesh accompanied his father to the USA, the UK and Canada to raise funds for the memorial trust, which maintains the school. Never before a member of NTR family had participated in the flag hoisting function on Independence day at the school. It had always been a low-key affair and the function has gained political
significance after Chandrababu Naidu gave nod to Lokesh to hoist the flag.
Incidentally, it was the marriage of Lokesh with film actor N Balakrishna's daughter that brought NTR's family closer to Chandrababu Naidu after a gap of 10 years. The appearance of Lokesh in a public function particularly when Chandrababu Naidu is
away on his Meekosam rath yatra gains political significance.
The timing of Lokesh' public appearance has been reportedly fixed by Chandrababu Naidu, who is faced with the problem of political exodus from the Telugu Desam.
A few months ago Lokesh visited NTR Bhavan along with a group of his friends to show them the Telugu Desam office. The visit was kept secret and mediapersons were not informed. But the Telugu Desam leadership has sent media invites for Friday's flag hoisting function indicating that the appearance of Lokesh has Chandrababu Naidu's official nod.
The TD leadership, has however, sought to underplay the Friday's programme saying it was just a "school function" Nagam Janardhan Reddy, TD politburo member and party deputy leader in the State Assembly, told this correspondent that there was
no political significance to the programme being attended by Lokesh. "It is just a school function," he said.
With several senior leaders leaving the Telugu Desam to join the proposed political party of Chiranjeevi, Chandrababu Naidu has entrusted the major task of wooing the dissidents to his brothers-in-law N Harikrishna and N Balakrishna. And with Lokesh' informal entry it's going to be an all NTR family affair in the Telugu Desam.
Lokesh is the son of a third senior political leader in the State to show interest in politics. Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy's son YS Jaganmohan Reddy has already expressed his interest in politics while TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao's son K Taraka Rama Rao has already entered public life as party general secretary.
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