Telugu Desam Party general secretary and Andhra Pradesh IT minister Nara Lokesh is presently touring China for the last few days in the name of attending the World Economic Forum-New Champions’ convention at Beijing.
For the last few days, the pro-Telugu Desam Party media and also social media affiliated to the yellow party have been propagating extensively that Lokesh was the only Indian minister who was invited to the WEF meeting in China.
Naturally, it evoked a lot of suspicion among the people as to whether Lokesh had really got the invitation from WEF, what his credible achievements are as the minister and what qualities the organisations had seen in him before choosing him.
Inquiries by independent sources revealed that it was a paid invitation obtained by Lokesh. One has to pay a hefty fee to take part in the WEF meeting as a delegate.
No other state in the country evinced any interest in attending the convention because it had to shell down heavy amount as delegate fee, but Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu decided to send Lokesh to the convention to give him “international exposure.”
Naidu directed Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board headed by his close associate Jasti Krishna Kishore Chowdary to pay the required delegate fee on behalf of Lokesh and send the latter as a delegate from AP.
After remitting the amount, the delegate would get an invitation as an international delegate.
So, it was very clear that Lokesh had not got any official invitation from the organisers, but he had bought a delegate pass by paying huge money. Since it was paid from the budget of EDB, there would be no additional burden on the government.
The question now is whether it is proper to spend huge amount of public money on a paid trip for the sake of Lokesh. And it is not just flight charges and delegate fee. Lokesh would be wasting huge public money on hotels and oher luxuries.
“At a time when the state is facing severe financial crisis, is it needed for Lokesh to spend so much money on China visit?” an official source asked.