In an exclusive interview with MyNation, Andhra Pradesh Cabinet minister for information technology and son of chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, Nara Lokesh said the TDP is ready to overcome the challenges of 'cyber criminals' like YSRCP's Jaganmohan Reddy and TRS's KT Rama Rao.
Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government has been accused of stealing data of about 35 million voters. And the state government has been saying that all safeguards for data protection were in place. Many challenges seem to be confronting the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) at a time when the state is gearing up for both Assembly as well as Lok Sabha elections.
Cabinet minister for information technology and son of chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Nara Lokesh said his party is ready to overcome the challenges to ensure the TDP gets another term consecutively in Andhra Pradesh despite the presence of "cyber criminals" like YSRCP's Jaganmohan Reddy and TRS's KT Rama Rao.
Speaking exclusively to MyNation, Lokesh said, "The procedure starts with voter rolls. This is available in the public domain. After that comes the membership drive. Soon after, we put all the data together, which is manually entered. And the booth level workers take it forward from there on. The Aadhaar data will give us nothing simply because the KYC with the biometrics requires physical presence of the person."
Watch the interview with Nara Lokesh:
Lokesh, in turn, pointed fingers at Telangana MLA KT Rama Rao and the Opposition leader of Andhra Pradesh Jagan. While referring to their recent meeting, Lokesh said, "The calls to the booth level workers originated from Hyderabad. The TDP, all these years, had its data in Hyderabad. And all of it has been stolen by the Telangana government and they are justifying it. The biggest criminal is Jagan, who seems to be working in tandem. And this makes me question things."
Amidst talks of Rama Rao trying to join hands with Jagan to pave the way for TRS's entry into Andhra Pradesh, Lokesh said, "What will they do coming here? Andhra hates those who threw them out."
When asked whether the TDP will look at forging an alliance with actor Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena? Lokesh said, "It's too early to say. Alliances are formed closer to elections and for now we want to campaign laying down what we have done from scratch in this new state."
Lokesh started his political career in 2009 and has been working closely with the cadres ever since. He is hailed as the youth icon among the party members.
However, the question is if this young Cabinet minister respecting the Indian Air Force (IAF) or not in the wake of the Opposition parties targeting the BJP government over air strikes on Pakistan.
"If you are talking of the Pulwama attack, yes I respect and I am indeed proud of the Indian Air Force," Lokesh said.
When asked why there are such disparaging remarks made against the Narendra Modi government and the air strikes on Pakistan, he replied, "We are questioning the number of deaths with respect to the air strikes. They say 250 to 300 terrorists have been killed, but where is the proof?"
With Naidu making concerted efforts in uniting the Opposition parties under the umbrella called the Mahagathbandhan, MyNation questioned Lokesh on Congress's presence.
The formation of the TDP by founder NT Rama Rao in 1982 was to root out the Congress from united Andhra Pradesh then. Naidu tasted a humiliating defeat recently in Telangana after joining hands with the Congress. While Naidu has safely distanced himself from the Congress with respect to Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, the Congress plays a dominant role in Mahagathbandhan.
"They are two different platforms. We have and we will continue to make them aware of our basic purpose in tying up with the Congress on the national front," Lokesh said when asked whether the voters of the Telugu state were taken for granted.
When queried whether Naidu will sit in the PM's chair and Lokesh as Andhra Pradesh chief minister, Lokesh explained, "Naidu will not be the PM of the country. He is very much needed in Andhra Pradesh. This state is building itself from scratch. And it is riding on brand Naidu. From nothingness, we have created an address called Amaravati," he said.
In the recent rally of PM Modi in Andhra Pradesh, he referred to Naidu as 'Lokesh ke papa'.
"No. Nara Lokesh will be an MLA serving the people of the state. I don't know why the PM would refer to the chief minister like that. This is very sad," he said when asked whether he will be the next chief minister of the state.
Last Updated 8:38 PM IST