In a surprise move, Telugu Desam Party national general secretary and Minister for IT, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, Nara Lokesh, gave a surprise to everyone, both in the party and outside, by announcing two candidates for Kurnool Assembly and Parliament. Lokesh had announced that sitting MP Butta Renuka will contest again from Kurnool Lok Sabha constituency and MLA S V Mohan Reddy for the Kurnool Assembly constituency. He wanted the people to give them huge majority in the coming elections.
It was a big surprise for everyone who is active in politics and have been watching the Telugu Desam politics closely in Andhra Pradesh. Ever since Chandrababu Naidu took over the party from its founder NT Rama Rao in the Viceroy Hotel coup in 1995, he had been the supreme in every activity of the party. There was no dissent and never announced any candidature ahead of the election. Every time, he releases the list of candidates in the last minute and thus he maintains the secrecy in majority of the candidatures in every election.
In contrast to this, Lokesh had announced the two names which indicate that the son is slowly taking over the party from the father. Interestingly, both Butta Renuka and S V Mohan Reddy were elected from the YSR Congress in the 2014 elections and switched over to the TDP last year. They are part of the 23 MLAs and 3 MPs who switched over their loyalties from the YSR Congress to the TDP during the last two years. While four of the 23 MLAs were made Ministers, the TDP had appointed another MLA Jaleel Khan as Waqf Board chairman. The rest of the MLAs and the MPs are made incharges of their respective constituencies keeping the local TDP leaders aside.
Now, naming just two out of the 26 defectors raises an eyebrow in the AP politics and that too in the absence of party chief Chandrababu Naidu. It is to be seen how Chandrababu Naidu would react to this act of his son, who is projected as Chandrababu Naidu’s successor in the TDP.