On Friday, 16 December, Bengaluru witnessed an unusual meeting. TDP scion Nara Lokesh met Kannada actor Yash at a five-star hotel in the city. And it left everyone wondering: Why?
Despite having many actors in his family and coming from a film background, Lokesh — son of former chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu — has largely avoided being in the spotlight with stars.
Adding to the intrigue was the fact that Lokesh’s usually hyper-active publicity team did not release any images of the meeting. The team was, in fact, apparently taken aback when they saw photos of the meeting all over the internet.
“Since it was only a courtesy call and a private meeting we didn’t release any pictures. They happened to be in the same hotel and met. Nothing more to it,” a member of Lokesh’s team told South First.
However, according to one TDP insider, the purpose of the meeting may have been to request Yash to be the brand ambassador of Heritage Foods, the family business of the Naras, which Lokesh ran before he entered politics. Lokesh’s wife Brahmani Nara and his mother, Bhuvaneswari Nara, now run the business.
With his KGF series, Yash has shot to fame and become a pan-India star, and Heritage could be planning to expand its business to other places and may be on the lookout for a nationally recognisable star as its brand ambassador.
But another TDP source pooh poohed such speculation, pointing out that as Tollywood already has several pan-India stars like Allu Arjun, Ram Charan, Prabhas, and Lokesh’s own cousin Jr NTR, why would he seek a Kannada star?
Even as such speculation went around, V Vijaysai Reddy, YSRCP general secretary and top aide to chief minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, had his own, rather unkind, take on the meeting.
The gist of his Tweet in Telugu: Pan India movie heroes are needed to attract people to “Pappu Padayatra” (a reference to Lokesh’s proposed, year-long walkathon ahead of the 2024 election).
“What if they don’t show up? Lokesh has to meet such heroes in hotels and shooting locations with references from legendary directors. Chartered flights and compensation in crores should be organised.”
పప్పు పాదయాత్రకు జనాలు పోటెత్తాలంటే పాన్ ఇండియా మూవీ హీరోలను రప్పించాలి. ఉ(య)ష్! వాళ్లు రాకపోతే? హోటళ్లు, షూటింగ్ స్పాట్లకు ఏ దిగ్గజ దర్శకుడి రిఫరెన్సుతోనో లేకేషే వెళ్లి కలవాలి. ఛార్టర్డ్ ఫ్లైట్లు, కోట్లల్లో పారితోషికం అరేంజ్ చేయాలి. ఇదీ బొల్లి నాయుడు స్కెచ్. pic.twitter.com/8FlYXkddWQ
— Vijayasai Reddy V (@VSReddy_MP) December 17, 2022