Naidu’s son Lokesh bites dust along with TDP bigwigs

Lokesh lost by 5,200 votes. Photo: PTI

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh’s dream of a perfect launch in electoral politics and taking on the mantle from his father was shattered as he could not get elected to the Andhra Pradesh assembly.

Lokesh, whom Naidu was grooming as his political successor, lost by 5,200 votes to YSR Congress Party (YSRCP)’s A Rama Krishna Reddy in Mangalagiri constituency in the state capital region, Amaravati.

A minister in his father’s cabinet since 2017, Lokesh was a member of the Legislative Council too. After a frantic search across the state, Naidu had zeroed in on Mangalagiri as a safe seat for his son’s first test in direct elections.

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This 36-year-old Stanford Management Graduate held the IT and Ranchayat Raj portfolios in the Naidu cabinet.

Lokesh, who started as a ‘backroom boy’ in TDP politics a decade ago, was seen as number two in the government and the party. But, Naidu felt, it  was time to make his presence felt on the bigger political stage.

With YSRCP sweeping the polls by winning 150 seats in the 175-member assembly, the TDP now looks totally demoralised. Naidu was among the handful of TDP legislators who retained their seats.

Several ministers humbled

With ‘fan’ (the YSRCP’s poll symbol) blowing away the TDP, several ministers in the Naidu’s cabinet and top leaders had to bite the dust in Assembly polls.

The ministers who faced the drubbing included Kala Venkat Rao, president of TDP’s Andhra Pradesh unit; D Uma Maheswara Rao; M. Buddha Prasad; P Pulla Rao; Bhuma Akhila Priya; Nakka Anand Babu; S Chandramohan Reddy; and P Narayana.

Senior TDP leader Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, who was speaker of the State assembly, also lost the polls.

Senior TDP leader Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who served as Civil Aviation minister in the Modi cabinet, till the TDP pulled out of the NDA, lost the polls from Vizianagaram Lok Sabha seat.

Kishore Chandra Deo, a former union minister and veteran Congress leader, who had joined the TDP on the eve of the polls, was defeated in Araku constituency by over two lakh votes by the YSRCP candidate.

Another former union minister Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy too was defeated in the Kurnool Lok Sabha seat. Son of former chief minister Kotla Vijayabhaskar Reddy, Surya Prakash had quit the Congress to join the TDP just before the elections.

Balakrishna retains seat

With TDP founder and the late chief minister NT Rama Rao’s clan spread across the political spectrum, they had mixed results.

Chandrababu Naidu, who is the son-in-law of NTR, retained Kuppam in his native Chittoor district.

NTR’s son and Chandrababu Naidu’s brother-in-law, actor N Balakrishna, retained Hindupur, the seat which his illustrious father had represented thrice.

Balakrishna, who is also Lokesh’s father-in-law, defeated Shaik Mohammed Iqbal by over 17,000 votes. Iqbal, a former IPS officer who had once served as the chief security officer of Chandrababu Naidu, had contested as YSRCP candidate.

Balakrishna’s other son-in-law Mathukumilli Bharat, a businessman, too began electoral politics with a defeat. He lost to YSRCP’s MVV Satyanarayana by 3,664 votes in Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency.

In the same constituency, Balakrishna’s sister and former union minister D Purandeswari contested as a BJP candidate. She finished a poor fourth with just 2.7 per cent votes.

Purandeswari’s husband, D Venkateswara Rao, who contested as YSRCP candidate from Parchur, constituency, lost narrowly to the TDP candidate.

Former CBI joint director VV Laxminarayana, who took voluntary retirement to enter politics, stood a distant third as Jana Sena Party (JSP) candidate in the Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency.

Heart-break debut for Pawan Kalyan

JSP founder and actor Pawan Kalyan had a heart-breaking debut in electoral politics as he lost both the Assembly seats he contested.

Pawan was humbled in Gajuwaka constituency in Visakhapatnam district by T Nagireddy of the YSRCP by over 16,000 votes. The actor also tasted defeat in Bhimavaram constituency in West Godavari district.

Pawan’s elder brother Naga Babu lost the Lok Sabha polls from Narsapuram constituency. He finished a distant third.

Former Assembly speaker and a key leader of Jana Sena N Manohar too lost the Assembly polls. Manohar, son of former chief minister N Bhaskar Rao, finished a poor third in Bapatla constituency.

Jagan’s massive victory

YSRCP president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is scheduled to take oath as the new chief minister on May 30, retained Pulivendula seat by a huge margin of over one lakh votes. Jagan, who had won the seat by over 75,000 votes in 2014, further improved his victory margin.

Located in his native Kadapa district, Pulivendula is considered a pocket borough of the YSR family. Jagan’s father, YS Rajasekhara Reddy, had represented this constituency six times.

Botsa Satyanarayana, Dharmana Prasad Rao, and Anam Ramnarayan Reddy, who served as ministers in the YSR cabinet, were elected to Assembly on YSRCP tickets.

YSRCP leader and actress Roja retained Nagari constituency. With YSRCP storming to power in the state, Roja slammed Chandrababu Naidu for once calling her the ‘iron leg.’ “I am not iron leg. I am golden leg,” she declared after her victory.

BJP’s state unit chief Kanna Laxminarayana faced a humiliating defeat in Narsraopet Lok Sabha constituency, polling just one per cent votes.

Former union minister and Congress leader JD Seelam lost from Bapatla Lok Sabha seat.

Like all Congress candidates in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, state Congress chief Raghuveera Reddy too tasted defeat. He lost from Kalyanadurgam constituency.


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