In the 1990s when Jyoti Basu and other third front leaders wanted him to take over as Prime Minister, his son Nara Lokesh told him, "Father, that would be a temporary job".Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu shared this anecdote on Saturday night with a group of journalists here on the sidelines of the three-day 'Mahanadu' (convention) of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).We played a key role in cementing together the United Front. Many leaders wanted me to take over as prime minister. I was reluctant," recalled Naidu who has led TDP since 1995."But when Jyoti Basu and others suggested it again, my son, hardly in class nine or 10, cautioned me against becoming the prime minister. Lokesh said that would be a temporary job," said Naidu, recalling his experience of playing a key role in stitching together the United Front after 1996 Lok Sabha elections resulted in a hung parliament.Born in 1983, Nara Lokesh is a grown up man now. He has been appointed general secretary in the TDP central committee and the party cadres would like to see his further elevation.
This year's 'Mahanadu' of the TDP is also seen as a platform to project Nara Lokesh as the next generation leader of the party and the inheritor of the legacy of his father Chandrababu and maternal grand father N.T. Rama Rao.The three-day 'Mahanadu' of the party concludes here this evening.Asked whether the last day of the convention would see any major announcement vis-a-vis his son Lokesh in terms of his elevation in the party organisation, the TDP supremo said, "I cannot say anything is happening on Sunday, but in my party talent is always promoted."A section of party leaders have been campaigning to give more responsibility to Lokesh -- either to make him party's face in New Delhi and make him a central minister or to induct him into the state cabinet and in the process give the party the "face of the youth"."It is not purely dynastic matter in case of Lokesh. The legacy is no disqualification. He has been doing a good job as the party general secretary in charge of cadres and has been doing well," said party MP Jayadev Galla.