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TDP nominates NTR's son for Rajya Sabha

March 12, 2008 18:21 IST
Telugu Desam Party has chosen Nandamuri Harikrishna, the third son of late N T Rama Rao, matinee idol and Telugu Desam Party founder, as its candidate for the biennial elections to Rajya Sabha slated later this month.

According to sources, TDP president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has zeroed in on the name of his brother-in-law and actor Harikrishna for a Rajya Sabha seat that the party can win on the basis of its strength in the present legislative assembly, which constitutes the electoral college for the Rajya Sabha elections. He is expected to file his nomination papers on March 14.

Though four TDP members are retiring from Rajya Sabha this year, the party can get only one member elected as it has only 44 legislators out of 294 in the legislative assembly. The Congress, along with its allies and associate members, has strength of 213 in the assembly and the party can comfortably win five out of the six Lok Sabha seats.

With his election, which is a certainty, Harikrishna
will be second among NTR's progeny to become an member of Parliament. His sister Daggubati Purandreswari is a Congress member of Lok Sabha from Bapatla constituency and serving as Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development. Purandreswari's husband and former MP Daggubati Venkateswara Rao is now a Congress member of the state assembly. 

He had parted the company of TDP after the party's annual convention (Mahanadu) in 1998. On January 26, 1999, he had launched Anna Telugu Desam to carry on his father's political legacy. But in May 2006, Harikrishna rejoined TDP headed by Chandrababu Naidu.

At that time, Harikrishna turned a bitter foe of Naidu, accusing him of deviating from NTR's ideals and reversing pro-poor policies, squandering public money on pet programmes, indulging in corruption and alienating the grassroot voters from the party. However, in the 1999 assembly and Lok Sabha elections, Anna TDP came a cropper and Harikrishna himself failed to win an assembly seat.
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad