Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu has set out on a mission to resurrect the legacy of his party founder and father-in-law, Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR), whose name, the Telugu Desam Party leaders say, went obscured during the 10 years of the Congress rule in the state and at the centre.
Chief Minister Naidu has started to rename state projects and programmes, which were previously named after the Nehru-Gandhi family members, after the matinee legend and three times chief minister of the state. On Thursday, following Naidu’s requests, the ministry of civil aviation has ordered to restore the name of the domestic terminal at the Shamshabad airport, which was named as Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and was inaugurated by the UPA and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in March 2008 during the reign of YSR, as NT Rama Rao domestic terminal as it was earlier known when the airport was at Begumpet. Not just the airport as Naidu who had vowed to revive “the Telugu pride” once retaining power has on Tuesday renamed government scheme on health, previously known as Rajiv Arogyasri (after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi), as NTR Vaidya Seva.
“The government has in-principle decided to rename every scheme named after Nehru-Gandhi family to either NTR or any other prominent personality from the state. The change would take place sooner than later,” said Parakala Prabhakar, advisor (communications) to Naidu.
At least 20 such projects like Indiramma Housing, Indira Kranthi Patham came up during YSR and Kiran Reddy regime.
The TDP government, after coming to power in June, has named several new schemes — pensions, drinking water, subsidised meals — after NTR. The party also wants Bharata Ratna title conferred on NTR.
Meanwhile, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao, also a protégé of NTR, has expressed displeasure at his state not being consulted for the name change of the airport.
“We respect NTR but his name could’ve been given to the airports in AP,” said Rao in the assembly.