NTR’s family stays away from Telugu Desam office

May 28th, 2008 - 7:29 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, May 28 (IANS) The suspense on the political entry of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao’s film star son and grandsons continues, though they came together to celebrate his birth anniversary Wednesday. For the first time since NTR’s death in 1996, his family members except his daughter and central minister D. Purandareswari, son N. Harkrishna and son-in-law N. Chandrababu Naidu came together to pay tributes.

NTR’s son N. Balakrishna, grandsons Junior NTR, Kalyanram, Tarakaratna, all Telugu film actors, and other family members together paid tributes at NTR Ghat, his memorial on the banks of Hussain Sagar lake here.

However, their much expected political plunge did not happen as they stayed away from NTR Trust Bhavan, the headquarters of Telugu Desam Party (TDP). In a last-minute change in the programme, the TDP founder’s family members took part in blood donation programme at Basvatarakamma Indo-American Cancer Institute, named after NTR’s first wife.

TDP president Chandrababu Naidu had announced a week ago that the family members would take part in celebrations with the party headquarters after paying tributes at NTR Ghat.

TDP leaders said the venue was shifted due to logistical problems and space constraints.

Naidu and Harikrishna, the Rajya Sabha member, took part in the celebrations at Jaggayapet in Krishna district as the TDP chief is on a 150-day long tour of the state.

Speculations were on for the last few weeks that Balakrishna, Junior NTR and others would use the occasion to openly declare their support to TDP.

Balakrishna, whose daughter has been married to Naidu’s son, reiterated that he would campaign for TDP in the next year’s elections. “I am not new to the party. I will always be with the party and people,” he told newsmen, but remained non-committal on whether he would contest the 2009 elections. “We will take a decision at an appropriate time,” he said.

Junior NTR, a popular young actor, merely said he would follow the footsteps of his “elders”. Balakrishna had recently played a key role in arranging a meeting of Junior NTR and other family members with Naidu, who sought their support to take on the new party proposed to be launched by Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi.

Interestingly, ruling Congress party legislator and NTR’s elder son-in-law D. Venkateswara Rao took part in the blood donation campaign with other family members. His wife Purandareswari, however, stayed away and instead unveiled NTR’s statue in Visakhapatnam.

Purandareswari, who along with her husband joined Congress before the 2004 elections, has already stated that she would never forgive Naidu for backstabbing her father. She also blamed him for NTR’s “untimely” death.

Naidu had snatched power from NTR in August 1995, a few months after the legendary actor led the party to back to power in the state. The TDP founder died in January 1996.

Meanwhile, NTR’s second wife Lakshmi Parvathi, who was blamed by Naidu and others for the 1995 crisis in the party, paid tributes at NTR Ghat here.

NTR had formed TDP in 1982 on the slogan of Telugu self-pride. Creating a record of sorts, he came to power within nine months of launching the party.

Ever since the formation of TDP, it has been holding a ‘mahanadu’ or convention on NTR’s birth anniversary. For the first time, TDP is not holding the convention as Naidu is busy with his tour.

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