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Andhra’s rising son tightens grip on ministers

Vijayawada,Sep 19 (): Andhra CM”s son Nara Lokesh has tightened his grip on the ministry by adopting the NTR formula. He has appointed his aides as PROs to all Andhra ministers.

The PROs known as media liaison officers’ (MLO) job is not only giving out news about the respective ministries but also keep a tab on the functioning of ministers. They were given an orientation on how Andhra administration and ministers function. The idea is that they should keep an eye on whether Telegu Desam Party men are approaching ministers for undue favours.

If ministers are using their power to get out-of-the-way, appointments or meddling with tenders etc, the MLO will report to Nara Lokesh. Yesterday, Andhra CM signed a file that appointed 30 MLOs. Five of them are posted in Andhra CM office and others in different ministries. A section of these will be working for ‘Andhra Pradesh’, the official magazine of the state government.

Sources said that this system was adopted by Nara Lokesh as he found that Narendra Modi and his grandfather NTR had done so. During NTR ministry in Andhra, the MLO in each ministry was feared as they reported to the CM directly.

Narendra Modi had appointed the officers and personal staff to all Union ministers by which he had inside information of the goings-on in various ministries. He had also directed principal secretaries of all ministries to route important files directly to his office.

Andhra CM has given the MLO a salary of Rs 28,000 per month with Rs 3000 being travelling allowance. Lokesh had campaigned extensively during the Andhra Assembly polls . He joined the party in 2013 and has studied in Stanford and trained in World Bank. Lokesh was told by his father to start his career in Andhra politics by campaigning so that he gets to meet the grassroot workers. Many in the TD say that Lokesh has won the confidence of the party leaders. The 31-year-old Lokesh is also the son-in-law of actor Balakrishna.