The spotlight at the Telugu Desam Party’s Mahanadu was squarely on N. Lokesh, son of TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu as he was seen sporting a yellow scarf and holding the file supplied to the delegates at Gandipet near here on Monday.
This is the first meeting of the TDP he has attended as its member but he was not given a seat on the dais like his uncles Harikrishna and Balakrishna. He sat in the first row of a box opposite the dais which was reserved for select delegates.
He freely interacted with a number of youth who approached him and even posed for photographs with them.
The very presence of Mr. Lokesh’s pictures on the banners at the Mahanadu at the same venue in 2011 had put off Mr. Harikrishna who even staged a walkout in the middle of the proceedings.
But, Mr. Harikrishna did not display anything of the sort this time as he calmly sat through till Mr. Chandrababu Naidu’s 90-minute-long speech. He left immediately after the speech and greeted mediapersons with folded hands when they rushed to his car.
There were flexis and cut-outs galore with Mr. Lokesh’s pictures today.
They were spread out all over the venue and on the way. In fact, one of them showed Mr. Lokesh standing ahead of Mr. Naidu.
A couple of months ago, he had also undertaken a tour of his father’s constituency Kuppam.
Mr. Harikrishna was one of the first leaders to arrive at the venue, followed by Mr. Lokesh. Mr. Balakrishna and Mr. Naidu reached together later. Mr. Lokesh spent time mostly talking to Sriram, son of MLA Paritala Sunita. The wards of senior leaders Ayyanna Patrudu and late K. Yerrannaidu later joined him.
Large crowds reached the venue in rallies, giving a festive look to the venue which was painted yellow. Mr. Chandrababu Naidu was presented a Rajasthani turban on arrival and thereafter a wax model of his image in a sitting posture. A person from Kapra here amused the crowds as a look-alike of NTR.
A blood donation camp and a photo exhibition of NTR in films and politics were organised. The exhibition was named after Sripati Rajeswar who died recently as he used to organise it at every Mahanadu.
Apart from Lokesh hogging the limelight at the meetings there were other leaders who too have left a positive impact on the party men gathered for the brainstorming session to chalk out the future course of action of the party for the next two years, particularly for the general elections ahead.
Though the young blood already has links to the party by virtue of their parents being the senior members of the 32-year-old party their presence had generated enthusiasm among the younger cadre. Among those who attended the meeting included the sons of party leaders Paritala Sunitha, late K. Yerran Naidu, late G.M.C. Balayogi, Karanam Balaram, Bolla Bulliramaiah, Ramesh Rathod, T. Devender Goud and K. Dayakar Reddy.
Unlike Mr. Lokesh, who spent much of his time in interacting with groups of party men, the other young faces had a relatively calm outing.
The impact of youth voice was much evident when the participants lustily cheered to the speeches of K. Rammohan Naidu (son of Yerran Naidu) and A. Revanth Reddy.