Nara Lokesh embarks on state-wide tour, to address 'issues of rural Andhra'
Andhra Pradesh Minister for Rural Development, Panchayat Raj and IT, Nara Lokesh, began a state tour on Tuesday from East Godavari district and said that he was all set to address the needs of rural area of the state.
Lokesh, who is also Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's son, reportedly plans to cover the state in the next 40 to 50 days.
Stating that the government intended to develop rural Andhra in the next few years, Lokesh suggested that every politician should know about the living conditions of people in rural areas, and the challenges faced by villages.
On Tuesday morning the minister reportedly reached Medapadu village in Samalkot mandal to inspect an underground drainage system and solid waste management works.
Addressing a public meeting at the mandal, he was quoted in The Hindu as saying, "Even I don’t know much about the villages, as I spent my entire childhood in Hyderabad. Except making a few visits to Naravaripalle in Chittoor district, I have no access to any other village so far.”
He also said that the government has been planning to lay new cement concrete roads and construct drainage systems, besides take up drinking water and solid waste management schemes in all villages in the state.
According to Times of India, the government had already signed an MoU with the electricity department for switching the street-lighting system to LED lights, which he said would help in reducing power bills of the local municipal bodies.
“We have prepared a blue-print to tackle the drinking water crisis in rural areas. We are hopeful of overcoming the crisis in the next two to three years,” Lokesh was quoted as saying.
34-year-old Lokesh, who was elected to the state legislative council last month, is a first-time minister. He was inducted into the cabinet, in the first week of April.
This came after Naidu, distributed portfolios which he had been holding since 2014 and also reallocated the portfolios of five ministers who were dropped from the cabinet.
This was the first expansion, since the formation of the state in 2014.
While many supporters of the TDP have received Lokesh well, several people were also circulating videos of his public fumbles on on social media.
With that in mind, Lokesh reportedly told TDP leaders earlier this week, to initiate criminal action against those "tarnishing our image".
"The (mainstream) media is favourable to us but we have no control over the social media and there is a lot of negative propaganda against us. We have to curb this...If we start taking criminal action against those making critical posts, it will be a deterrent to others," Lokesh was quoted as saying.