I will get exposure to rural challenges: Lokesh

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Road connectivity, LED system, drainage are focus areas

Highlighting the need for strengthening the rural areas to be self-sufficient, Panchayat Raj and IT Minister Nara Lokesh on Tuesday said each politician should have a clear idea about the living conditions of the rural dwellers and the challenges in the villages.

“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 said, adding that he was keen on assuming office as Panchayat Raj Minister when his father Chandrababu Naidu wanted him to join the Cabinet. “I strongly believe that one cannot become a complete politician without knowing about the rural life and that is why I love this portfolio than anything else,” he said at a public meeting in this tiny village of Samalkot mandal that received ‘Panchayat Raj Swasakti Karan’ national award from the Central government this year.

Workers of the Telugu Desam Party from the entire district arranged a rousing reception to Mr. Lokesh and felicitated him with huge garlands. Braving the scorching sun, party workers in large numbers turned up for the public meeting.

He attended a slew of scheduled programmes such as visiting the solid waste management plant, underground drainage system, inaugurating the drinking water system and laying foundation stones for the cement concrete roads. “After assuming the office, I have shifted my focus towards studying the problems at the grassroots. There is an immediate need to improve road connectivity to the rural pockets, besides arranging LED street lighting system and ensuring underground drainage network,” he said, adding that his plan was to improve infrastructure and facilities in the villages in the next two years.

Congratulating the residents of G. Medapadu on keeping their village clean and self-sufficient, the Minister hoped the village would become the role model for other villages.

Home Minister N. Chinarajappa, who presided over the meeting, thanked Mr. Lokesh for choosing the Peddapuram Assembly constituency for his maiden visit as Minister. He exuded confidence that the Panchayat Raj and Rural Development sectors would witness fast development under the new Minister. “Being the third generation leader from the late NTR’s family, Mr. Lokesh imbibed the skills of identifying the problems and finding suitable solutions to them instantly,” he said.

Mr. Lokesh felicitated sarpanch B. Surya Kumari for achieving the national award. Kakinada MP Tota Narasimham, Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council Reddi Subrahmanyam, Collector H. Arun Kumar, Zilla Parishad chairman Namana Rambabu, officials and local elected representatives were present.

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