Despite Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu's claim that there is no power struggle in the family of party founder N.T. Rama Rao, the differences in the family once again came to fore Tuesday.
Popular Telugu actor and NTR's grandson Junior NTR said he was not invited to 'Mahanadu' or annual convention of the party which began here Monday, while his father N. Harikrishna said he would speak about injustice being meted out to them at an appropriate time.
"This is not the occasion to talk politics. I will speak about injustice when I get an opportunity," said Harikrishna after paying tributes to his late father on his 90th birth anniversary at NTR Ghat on the edge of Hussain Sagar lake here.
Harikrishna made a brief appearance Monday at TDP's Mahanadu. Last year, he had walked out of the convention to vent his anger over reported attempts by Naidu to project his son N. Lokesh as his successor.
Harikrishna is reportedly keen to see his son Junior NTR as the next leader of the party.
Junior NTR told reporters at NTR Ghat that he would attend Mahanadu if the party invites him. The conclave is concluding Tuesday.
"I want to see the party formed by my grandfather become stronger and coming to power," he said. To a query, the young actor said he would campaign for the party in the 2014 general elections if the party permits him.
Meanwhile, TDP leaders claimed that invitation was sent to Junior NTR. However, former minister Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy said there was no need for invitations for NTR's family members.
That the family members remained divided was clear when they separately paid tributes. Naidu, who is NTR's son-in-law, was accompanied by wife Bhuvaneswari and son N. Lokesh. NTR's son and actor N. Balakrishna was also with them. Balakrishna, whose daughter is married to Lokesh, has differences with his brother Harikrishna and nephew.
NTR's daughter and union minister D. Purandeswari and her husband D. Venkateswara Rao came to NTR Ghat separately. "Telugus will always remember NTR, who was not only a great actor but he also redefined politics. I am proud to be his daughter," said Purandeswari, who is a leader of the Congress party.
NTR's second wife Lakshmi Parvathi also paid floral tributes. She advised Naidu to carry all family members with him. She said Naidu should introspect and find out the reasons for party's defeat in two successive elections.
NTR had married Parvathi a few months before he led TDP back to power in 1994 elections. However, Naidu staged a revolt against NTR in August 1995 and became chief minister in his place. NTR died of cardiac arrest in January 1996.
NTR, a legendary actor, had formed the TDP in 1982 on the slogan of Telugu self-pride. Creating a record of sorts, he came to power within nine months after launching the party.