Is Chandrababu Naidu grooming son for political career?

August 15th, 2008 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 15 (IANS) The speculations that Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu is planning to introduce his only son N. Lokesh into active politics gained ground Friday when the latter unfurled the national flag here on Independence Day. Lokesh, making his first public appearance, hoisted the tricolour at the NTR Model School. He did the honours in the absence of his father, who is the chairperson of the NTR Trust that runs the school.

The former chief minister, who unfurls the flag at the school every year, is away in Anantapur for the culmination of his state-wide ‘yatra’ or tour.

This was also the first time that any member of Naidu’s family has attended a public function. His family members never attended political or official functions when he was chief minister of the state from 1995 to 2004.

Lokesh’s public appearance set off speculations that Naidu is grooming his son for politics ahead of the next year’s elections.

Lokesh, who did his MBA from Stanford University in the US, is helping his mother Bhuvaneshwari in the family businesses, including the Heritage Food company.

Last year, he married Brahmini, the daughter of his maternal uncle N. Balakrishna, a popular Telugu film star and son of TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao or NTR.

Naidu had earlier stated he was not against Lokesh joining politics if he so desired.

The development is also significant in view of the active interest the family members of NTR are taking in the party affairs. NTR’s son N. Harikrishna was recently made TDP politburo member and nominated to Rajya Sabha.

Following Naidu’s request, his brother-in-law Balakrishna has agreed to campaign for the party in the next elections.

Faced with a stiff challenge posed by the entry of Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi into politics, Naidu also roped in NTR’s grandsons and actors Junior NTR and Tarakram to campaign for the party.

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