Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Nara Lokesh has expressed his party’s unconditional support for the NDA government, while also emphasising the importance of special status for Andhra Pradesh and the need for continued investments in the state. In an interview with ANI, Lokesh outlined his vision for the state’s development and reiterated the party’s commitment to working with the NDA to achieve these goals.

Lokesh, who is the son of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, highlighted the impact of Andhra Pradesh’s bifurcation in 2014 and the consequent loss of Hyderabad, the state’s economic powerhouse. “Our support is unconditional. As far as special status is concerned, we need to understand that the state of Andhra Pradesh in 2014 was bifurcated against the majority view of people of Andhra Pradesh. And one of the major reasons was the loss of Hyderabad. Hyderabad is the economic powerhouse and a lot of people depend on it. So they wanted sort of special dispensation to be given to the state so that we can rebuild,” he told ANI.

Emphasising the need for a conducive environment for investments, Lokesh said, “I understand that there will always be constraints, therefore we look forward to working together and creating a very conducive environment where investments will come into the state… We have to create jobs both in the private and public sectors. So I look forward to working with the NDA government to do this.”

When questioned about cabinet portfolios in the NDA government, Lokesh reiterated the TDP’s stance of unconditional support. “We have no expectations. Our support is unconditional. And because we believe in leadership and we believe that strong states make a strong nation. So our support is purely unconditional. In the end, all we would request, it’s not even a condition, is to give us funds. Please look at Andhra for investments and support us to take things forward,” he said.

Reflecting on past support from former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lokesh added, “Vajpayee was very magnanimous. He supported erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad is almost close, if not beaten Chennai, in terms of being the economic capital. All this happened because back then Vajpayee Ji supported us… I have no conditions. It depends on the leadership of the TDP & NDA. I think they know my capacity and N. Chandrababu Naidu is known for putting the right person in the right place for the right job.”

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Agniveer Scheme, Uniform Civil Code, Reservations We All Need To Discuss: Nara Lokesh

Lokesh also shared his thoughts on various central government policies and the broader vision for Andhra Pradesh’s growth. “Agniveer scheme, Uniform Civil Code, reservations, allocation of budgets, development and PLIs – there are a hundred other things that we all need to discuss. We believe in the leadership of Narendra Modi ji and there’s no second thought about it. We believe that he should be the PM of India. We supported that in 2014; yes we parted ways on an issue in 2018 but now we have come together before the (Lok Sabha) elections and we have supported him wholeheartedly and we will continue to support his leadership,” he told news agency PTI.

Speaking to ANI, Lokesh also highlighted the potential for Andhra Pradesh to contribute significantly to India’s economic goals. “Clearly, Andhra Pradesh and specifically TDP MPs have a role to play. Andhra has given a clear 21-seat mandate to the NDA government. It’s a very, very important mandate. At the same time, the way I look at it is that apart from politics, we believe that strong states make a strong nation. The Prime Minister believes in creating a $5 trillion economy. I believe Andhra Pradesh alone can be a trillion-dollar economy,” he said.

Outlining specific development opportunities, Lokesh stated, “We can do port-led development, manufacturing development, we can create a petrochemical corridor. The entire green hydrogen is the next wave. We can at least do two megaprojects in the state of Andhra Pradesh. So there are a lot of opportunities to develop our state. And like we have done in the past, our support is unconditional and the only thing we would request in return is to develop our state.”

He also stressed his allegations of his phone being tapped using Pegasus spyware. “So there is clear-cut intelligence input that systematic destruction of evidence is happening by the erstwhile government…All of us know that our phone calls have been tapped. I’ve come out in public to clearly state that my phone was attacked by Pegasus. I have proof that it’s been attacked twice…N Chandrababu Naidu has already asked the DG to submit a report on whether Andhra Pradesh has Pegasus and if yes, who it’s been used against give all details to thereof. So there is destruction of evidence or wrongdoings happening,” he told ANI.

The BJP secured 240 seats, while the NDA collectively, including the TDP and the JD(U), won 293 seats in the recent Lok Sabha elections, ensuring a comfortable majority in the 543-member House.

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