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NTR legacy: The bickering hots up

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad | March 20, 2009 17:27 IST

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Revealed: NTR's intense hatred for Chandrababu Naidu

There is no respite in the internal fight among the children of Telugu Desam founder N T Rama Rao on the question of whether TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu [Images] was right in using NTR's legacy and name in his struggle to come back to power.
Even as NTR's two sons N Harikrishna and N Balakrishan and a grand son Junior NTR were actively campaigning in support of Naidu, NTR's other son-in-law and Congress legislator Dr. Daggubati Venkateshwara Rao and his wife union minister D Purandeswari are continuing their onslaught against Naidu calling him "the backstabber".
Days after revealing that NTR in his last days had asked his film actor son Balakrishna to "go and murder Chandrababu" for his betrayal, Venkateshwara Rao has now unveiled his bare-all book on Naidu coup against NTR in August 1995.
But he said he was not going to release the book before the elections. While the book in Telugu is titled "History � some facts", the English version is titled as "The Other Side of Truth". 
Venkateshwara Rao produced the draft of both the books before media, saying now he came to speak about Naidu's coup against NTR because unlike 1995, media today was willing to carry his voice. "AT the time the media was completely on one side spreading Naidu's falsehood", he said.
For the first time raising the curtains of mystery on the revolt against NTR by the member of his family and a majority of TDP legislators, Venkateshwara Rao said that right form the word go Naidu wanted to become the chief minister and TDP president by ousting NTR.
"On that day when I landed at the Begumpet airport, about 40 TDP MLAs surrounded me asking me to come to Viceroy Hotel [Get Quote]. But I went home only to find Chandrababu Naidu, Harikrishna and Balakrishna sitting there and waiting for me", he said.
Apart from them many other people including NTR's principal secretary Jayprakash Narayan, IG Intelligence Durga Prasad, Ramesh (owner of Vijay Electricals) and TDLP office secretary Bhujanga Rao were also present at his home.
"Naidu took me in to room and told me that he will take over as the chief minister and party president. He told me that I will be made the deputy chief minister and Harikrishna will be appointed as general secretary of the party".
When Venkateshwara Rao came out of the room, Harikrishna and others asked him what transpired. "I told them every thing. Harikrishna was unhappy and demanded that he should be made a minister. I told him that he can become the deputy chief minister and I was not interested in joining cabinet".
Venkateshwara Rao said that in the coup, two sons of NTR were with Naidu and two sons and a daughter (Venakteswara Rao's wife Purandeswari) were with NTR. He also admitted that despite his wife's plea not to join Naidu, he went to Viceroy Hotel (the center of the revolt). "I committed an unforgivable sin", he said.
"But I thank God that I came back to NTR in fifteen days and I spent last days with NTR. He also appointed me the general secretary of the party", he said.
As this entire episode has become a topic of discussion just ahead of next month's elections, the TDP has alleged that Venkateshwara Rao was acting at the behest of Congress party.
But senior minister and Congress spokesperson K Roshaiah rejected the charge. "This is not the Congress culture to meddle in any body's family affair and what is happening is a family's internal matter", he said.
Roshaiah revealed that when NTR launched Telugu Desam in 1982, his son-in-law Naidu who was in Congress went to Indira Gandhi [Images] and told her that he will fight elections against his father-in-law. "But she said she was not in favor of any such thing and asked the party not to encourage him to do so".


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