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NTR's legacy fading

The TDP today is dominated by just one man from the family - N Chandrababu Naidu, who dethroned his father-in-law, NTR.
PTI | By Indo-Asian News Service, Hyderabad
UPDATED ON APR 24, 2004 08:40 PM IST

It was once the first family of Andhra Pradesh politics. No longer.

Actor-turned-politician NT Rama Rao had founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the early 1980s to change the political scene in the state forever.

But 22 years later, his family members are mainly contesting as candidates of other parties and struggling for political survival.

The TDP today is dominated by just one man from the family - N Chandrababu Naidu, who dethroned his father-in-law popularly known as NTR, in August 1995 from office.

NTR never forgave the betrayal but his sudden death five months later gave a new lease of life to Naidu.

NTR's son Harikrishna and another son-in-law D Venkateswara Rao, who had helped Naidu in the revolt, are also not around.

Naidu sent Harikrishna into political oblivion while his co-brother D Venkateswara Rao is struggling to survive in politics.

NTR's daughter Purandareswari and her husband Venkateswara Rao are contesting as Congress candidates respectively in the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

The revolt against NTR had revolved around one woman - his second wife Lakshmi Parvathi. Many in the family and the party believed her to be the cause of the revolt.

But she too is struggling for political survival with her party, NTR TDP, non-existent for all practical purposes.

Parvathi, who is also NTR's biographer, could not make it to the assembly in the 1999 elections though she contested from two constituencies.

Her party drew a blank, so also did Harikrishna's Anna TDP. While Harikrishna has quit politics and returned to the film industry, Parvathi is fighting a lonely battle.

She is contesting once again from Atmakur assembly constituency in Kurnool district but has fewer chances of getting elected. She faces two women - B Sailaja of the TDP and S Shabana, a Congress rebel. The Congress has fielded E Pratap Reddy.

She has also fielded a few of her supporters in 15 constituencies but none of them appears to have any chances of getting elected.

Irrespective of the outcome though, she wants to carry on the struggle and is waiting for Naidu's downfall.

Parvathi, in a recent biography of NTR, wrote that Naidu was treacherous and had made several attempts to dethrone NTR before he finally succeeded in 1995.

Parvathi married NTR in 1994, a few months before he returned to power. She was also elected to the assembly but lost everything due the dramatic events of 1995 and NTR's sudden death in 1996.

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