Political Pickle

How 23 May mauled the NTR family

It was not a very good Thursday for the NT Rama Rao family, considered the first family of Andhra politcs. Not only was the Telugu Desam, the party founded by NTR in 1982, routed in the elections, there were only two winners from the family – actor son Nandamuri Balakrishna from Hindupur Assembly constituency and son-in-law Chandrababu Naidu from Kuppam. 

Balakrishna had his father to thank for the victory as there exists a NTR votebank even today in Hindupur, a constituency the former CM represented thrice in the Andhra assembly. For all practical purposes, former IPS officer Mohammed Iqbal of the YSRCP was fighting not Balakrishna, but NTR. 

Chandrababu Naidu, Nara Lokesh, Bhuvaneswari and Brahmani

NTR’s grandson Nara Lokesh (Naidu’s son) lost from Mangalagiri. So did his daughter Purandareswari contesting on a BJP ticket from Visakhapatnam. NTR’s son-in-law Daggubati Venkateswara Rao (Purandareswari’s husband) lost the assembly election while contesting on a YSRCP ticket from Parchur despite a Jaganmohan Reddy wave in the state. Balakrishna’s son-in-law Sri Bharat lost the election from Visakhapatnam

The only one who was smiling was NTR’s widow Lakshmi Parvathi who now sails with the YSRCP. The complete decimation of the TDP would have gladdened her heart as she has always been bitter about the manner in which Naidu snatched NTR’s party from him in August 1995, leading to his demise five months later. 

The biggest challenge for Naidu now is to keep his flock together for the next five years. Already trolls have started needling the TDP chief, hinting at the possibility of a challenger emerging from within the NTR family to Lokesh, Naidu’s heir apparent. 

The reference is to popular Telugu actor NT Rama Rao (the grandson of NTR who bears the same name as his grandfather) who is an entertaining orator and has his grandfather’s mannerisms. Though NTR Junior campaigned for the TDP in the 2009 elections, he was subsequently kept away from the party. Now this picture of Junior NTR riding a bicycle (the TDP symbol) is doing the rounds on social media. 

NTR, the grandson of NTR

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