Chandrababu Naidu to launch ‘rath yatra’ from Tirupati

April 20th, 2008 - 11:28 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, April 20 (IANS) Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is all set to launch his 150-day long ‘rath yatra’ ahead of the crucial by-elections in the state. Naidu, who celebrated his 58th birthday Sunday, left for the temple town of Tirupati in his Chittoor district, from where he will launch the yatra or tour Monday. During the yatra, he will interact with people about their problems and expose what he terms “misrule” of the Congress government.

The opposition leader will also cover four Lok Sabha and 18 assembly constituencies, where by-elections are scheduled for May 29. The by-polls were caused by the resignations of four MPs and 16 assembly members belonging to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) to protest the delay in granting separate statehood to the Telangana region. Two other assembly seats fell vacant due to the death of sitting members of the Congress and the TDP.

Naidu, who was the chief minister from 1995 to 2004, will work this tour as a precursor to the party’s campaign for the next year’s elections. He has already roped in the actor sons and grandsons of the party’s late founder and former chief minister N.T. Rama Rao (NTR) to campaign for the party.

NTR’s son N. Balakrishna and grandson NTR Junior are expected to address a few public meetings during Naidu’s yatra.

Before leaving for Tirupati, Naidu visited NTR Ghat on the banks of Hussain Sagar Lake here and paid him tributes. “I have come here to seek his blessing for the success of the yatra,” he told reporters.

However, Naidu’s attempts to invoke NTR’s legacy for his campaign came under attack from some party members. NTR’s daughter and union minister D. Purandareswari recently said she would never forgive Naidu for “backstabbing” her father, and claimed this led to NTR’s death in 1996.

Naidu had led a revolt against NTR in August 1995 and became the chief minister. NTR, who had formed TDP in early 1980s, died a few months later.

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