Leadership transition set in motion in TDP


Setting in motion the long pending transition in the party, 65 year old TDP supremo Chandrababau Naidu today appointed his son Nara Lokesh as the general secretary of the national committee. As a general secretary he is also made exofficio member in the politiburo, the highest policy making body of the party. With these appointments, Lokesh is expected to get unusual access to the party high-level meetings.

Following the bifurcation of the state Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam party is planning to become a national party by expanding its network outside the successor states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.Once it becomes a national party, there would be increased interactions at national level warranting appointment of a suitable leader, who can articulate TDP ideology in English, if not in Hindi. Now, the responsibility will fall on Lokesh, a Harvard business administration graduate.

Even though Lokesh is just in-charge of party workers welfare trust, he has been playing important role in the network building of the party. The role he is playing in internal matters of the party reminds one the role Chandrabababu Naidu played during the time when NT Ramarao was the chief minister in 1980s. By working as coordinator of the party, Chandrababu Naidu took the entire party under his command in such a way that it made the coup in 1994 against NT Ramarao a smooth affair. in the past twenty years, Naidu used to deal himself with party internal affairs. He did not delegate the party internal organization work to any leader in the party.

Now, as chief minister , he is embarked on massive project of building the world-class capital city, Chandrababu is compelled to promote Jr.Naidu as the leader of the party slowly. In party affairs and governmental affairs Naidu doesn’t take anybody into confidence. One can see this in his style of negotiating with the Singapore with regard to the capital construction. Every crucial decision is taken by Naidu alone. He is ensuring his presence in every round of talks with Singapore. Normally, heads of the government, after signing the MoU, leave the matter to the senior officials and experts. No head of the state wishes to participate in the every round of talks with other governments. In the case of TDP government, as far as the capital city is concerned, nobody matters in the state government except chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. So, he is forced to promote his heir apparent to take care of the party affairs.

In the recent extended meeting of the party held in Vijayawada, senior leader Kimidi Kala venkata Rao suggested to Naidu that Lokesh be appointed general secretary of the party. Now, Kala venkata Rao is appointed Andhra Pradesh TDP president and Lokesh general secretary of the party.

For the past few months Lokesh has been going around the state inaugurating training camps for the party workers. He addressed youth and students. As the culmination of these program, the made public the assets owned by his family and family owned Heritage food. From now onwards, as general secretary of the party, he will play an extraordinary role in the party affairs. This appointment has catapulted him to the top slot in the organization. This is will pave the way for his take over from his father Naidu in 2019 by which time Naidu will be nearing 70. Party sources say after 2019 depending upon the political situation, Naidu may switch over to national politics like Mulayam Singh of Uttar Pradesh. Once the capital project takes off, the hype created by Amaravati would help the TDP sweep polls which eventually lead to the anointment of Lokesh as leader TDLP as it happened in the case of Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow- this is the master plan of Naidu according to sources in TDP.

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