Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu’s son Nara Lokesh on Monday performed a puja inside the chamber of Legislature Secretary (in-charge) before filing his nomination for the Council election, an act for which poll officials sought a report. A special arrangement was made in the chamber of the Secretary, who is also the Returning Officer, for the puja as Lokesh chose a `muhurtam’ (auspicious time) for filing his papers. The Council election under the MLAs’ quota is slated for March 20.
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A top bureaucrat said performing puja inside the RO’s chamber was a clear violation of norms. “It can’t be done,” he said.
State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Bhanwar Lal told PTI over phone from Hyderabad that he would obtain a report from the Returning Officer on the puja.
Asked about the event, Returning Officer K Satyanarayana said, “I was performing the puja in my chamber when the candidate came. He just joined me.”
Meanwhile, speaking at a press meet later, Chandrababu parried a question on the possible induction of Lokesh into his Cabinet. “Did I ever tell you what I will do,” he quipped.
This is Lokesh’s first foray into electoral politics though he has been actively involved in affairs of the ruling Telugu Desam as General Secretary for over two years now.
Prior to that he was a coordinator in the party looking after workers’ welfare programmes.
His father-in-law and MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna also performed the puja after Lokesh. Interestingly, Balakrishna left for the Assembly, which is in session, and did not wait for his nephew-cum-son-in-law to file the papers for his maiden election.
Government Chief Whip Kalva Srinivasulu proposed Lokesh’s name, while Deputy Chief Ministers K E Krishna Murthy, N China Rajappa, TDP AP unit president K Kala Venkata Rao and other legislators seconded the nomination.