AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh, who was inducted into the state cabinet,will hold the portfolios of Panchayat Raj, Rural Development and Information Technology.
In handing over the Information Technology and Communications, and Panchayat Raj and Rural Development departments to his son, the CM has followed the pattern of his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao. KCR had made his son K T Rama Rao the minister for IT and PR in 2014 in his cabinet.
Chandrababu Naidu allocated to all the new ministers inducted into the State Cabinet.
The cabinet strength has now increased to 26. With no Muslim minister in the cabinet, Chandrababu kept the Minorities Welfare and Empowerment department with himself, much like what KCR did in 2014. Besides the General Administration Department, the CM will also hold charge of “Happiness Index” that is neither a portfolio nor a department but an objective of the government. The CM parted with the Energy department he had been holding and gave it to veteran K Kala Venkata Rao.
Lokesh, who was elected to the state legislative council last month, is a first-time minister. The 34-year-old is also the general secretary of ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
The cabinet rejigs triggered dissidence in the party with one of the dropped ministers resigning from the assembly and a senior party leader quitting party post on being denied the cabinet berth.
Some other hopefuls, who were not inducted, openly expressed their unhappiness. Naidu, who is also the TDP chief, warned the leaders that he would not tolerate indiscipline.