Rumours are working overtime to foretell where AP IT Minister Nara Lokesh would fight the upcoming Andhra Pradesh assembly elections from. Political circles are rife with thoughts that the latest on the TDP High Command’s mind is Guntur which could be a conquering seat for Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s son.
Before becoming a minister in 2016, Lokesh was actively looking after party affairs. Following this he was nominated as an MLC and then made a minister in Chandrababu’s cabinet by handling over IT, Panchayat Raj and Rural development portfolios. It is understood that he was given Panchayat Raj and Rural Development portfolios to grow a rapport with grassroots people and keep an ear to the ground. That way, he would understand and connect with people on the ground which could help him develop his image by the time he contests as an MLA for Assembly.
Given that this is the first time that Nara Lokesh will be contesting in the elections, the TDP leadership is carefully analysing which seat fits him best and can make it easy for his win. Earlier, the TDP leadership has thought Rayalaseema as the area for Lokesh’s contest. Nevertheless, with Chandrababu contesting from Rayalaseema, it was believed that Lokesh could be contesting from North Coastal Andhra. Now, this plan seems to be held and a new region has caught the TDP High Command’s attention, say party sources.
It is seen that Lokesh is interested on contesting from Pedakurapadu constituency in Guntur district. Currently, TDP’s Kommalapati Sridhar is the MLA from Pedakurapadu constituency. Though Mangalagiri also came up for discussion, Pedakurapadu may be concluded as the party has a strong hold on the ground in this constituency. As per the party sources, Sridhar has accepted to surrender his seat to Lokesh as it is a safe seat for TDP.
On the other hand, the TDP High Command has agreed to acknowledge Sridhar’s sacrifice and choose him to the Legislative Council. But, some leaders in TDP are of the opinion that Lokesh should either choose Coastal Andhra or Rayalaseema rather of choosing the capital region. Well, the party High Command is set to come out with a verdict soon on this!