Fresh row in NTR family over statue in Parliament

Even after 16 years of his death, the battle for the legacy of legendary actor and former chief minister N T Rama Rao (NTR) continues in Andhra Pradesh.

Ever since the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar, approved a long-pending proposal for installation of NTR’s statue in the Parliament complex, in recognition of his contribution to society, a battle of one-upmanship broke amongst the warring factions of the family claiming credit in the matter.

While NTR’s daughter and Union minister D Purandeswari, who is in the Congress along with her husband and MLA D Venkateswara Rao, represent one faction of the divided family, NTR’s son-in-law and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu represent the other.

Fresh bout of acrimony began when Purandeswari claimed sole credit last week for getting the proposal cleared. She also used the occasion to lash out at Naidu for doing “practically nothing” on the issue though he wielded enormous clout at the national level during 1995-2004 when he was the chief minister.

Naidu hit back at her saying she had lost the moral right to speak about her father the day she joined the Congress, a party NTR fought all along his life. In a clever move, Naidu roped in his brother-in-law and NTR’s actor-son N Balakrishna to counter Purandeswari.

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