The Telugu Desam chief, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, has cleverly started sidelining the party’s star campaigners, filmstars Balakrishna and Junior NTR, and is now subtly promoting his son, Mr Lokesh Naidu, as his successor.
Mr Naidu, who was all praise for Balakrishna and Junior NTR before the polls, is not talking much about their contribution now. He did not call on Junior NTR after returning to Hyderabad and did so only after a vernacular daily carried a report mentioning this.
During a media conference held at his residence the other day, Mr Naidu kept on stressing that it was his pet Cash Transfer Scheme that would lead the TD back to power.
Party insiders said that Mr Naidu’s shrewd political strategy came to the fore when he termed the Cash Transfer Scheme as his son Lokesh’s brainchild. This happened soon after Junior NTR started making waves through his campaign.
Later, Mr Lokesh was sent to Kuppam, Mr Naidu’s constituency, to look after the electioneering there.
Mr Naidu is known for his canny political moves. During the coup against NTR, he took the help of NTR’s son, Mr Harikrishna, and the veteran’s son-in-law, Mr Daggubati Venkateswara Rao. Later he dumped both of them.
An angry Harikrishna then said that Mr Naidu had a “use and throw” attitude. Mr Venkateswara Rao had recently cautioned both Balakrishna and Junior NTR to be cautious of Mr Naidu’s moves.