Senior Telugu Desam Party leader and Rajya Sabha member T G Venkatesh from Kurnool district gave a shocker to Minister for IT, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Nara Lokesh on announcing candidates for the Kurnool Parliament and Assembly seats.
Lokesh had announced the candidature of Butta Renuka for Lok Sabha and S V Mohan Reddy for Assembly constituencies. The two leaders have defected from the YSR Congress after their victory in 2014 and have doubts over their candidature for the 2019 election. In this backdrop, Lokesh had cleared their names for the next election during his visit to the district. This happened when the party chief Chandrababu Naidu was out of the country in Singapore attending world cities summit to invite investments to the State.
Shocked at this announcement, T G Venkatesh took serious objection as he has set his eyes on the Kurnool Assembly seat for his son, Bharat. Venkatesh had been lobbying with the party leadership to field his son in the next election. The announcement of Mohan Reddy for Kurnool seat had thus came as a shocker to him. “Who is Lokesh? He is just a minister. He is neither the party president nor have the powers to clear the names?” Venkatesh said taking a dig at Lokesh.
He also took objections to the place where Lokesh had announced the candidature of Mohan and Renuka. The announcement was made at the government programme in Kurnool and Venkatesh wondered how anyone can make political announcements at the government programme.
Venkatesh said he would respond only if Chandrababu Naidu gives a confirmation on the candidatures and would wait for the party chief to make his mind clear on the issue.
He also claimed that Chandrababu Naidu had not decided on the candidature for the Kurnool Assembly seat. “The party chief had not taken a decision yet. He is conducting survey and the party would name any candidature only at the time of elections, hours before releasing the list and issuing B forms,” Venkatesh said and discounting the leadership of Lokesh.
It is now to be seen how Lokesh would react to this humiliating attack on his leadership by the party leaders as he is the son of the Chief Minister and the party president, besides being the general secretary of the party.