'Internal war' in NTR family of installation of statue?
Hyderabad: An internal war, albeit verbal, has erupted in the family of late NT Rama Rao, the founder of TDP and former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, over the installation of his statue in Parliament House complex.
NTR's eldest daughter and now Union Minister of State D Purandeswari, along with her MLA-husband Venkateswara Rao, finds herself isolated while all others in the family are on one side in the battle that has begun over the issue.
TDP president and NTR's second son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu has the backing of all family members in this battle in which the party is also a party.
It has now seemingly become a fight for oneupmanship with the two factions striking the verbal-volleys with more intensity.
Last night, NTR's son and actor Balakrishna shot off an open letter to his elder sister castigating her for enacting a "drama" in the whole affair for personal credit.
"When all the family members signed a letter seeking permission for installation of our father's statue in Parliament House complex, you were the only one not to have signed the letter.
"Chandrababu has been openhearted and only wanted the statue installed, whether it was donated by the family or the TDP. Now, you are distorting all facts only to claim personal credit," Balakrishna lashed out at his sister Purandeswari.
NTR's widow (second wife) Lakshmi Parvati has now thrown her towel into the ring and questioned the locus standi of both Chandrababu and Purandeswari in the whole issue.
"As NTR's widow, I should also be involved in the statue affair," she wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker.
NTR's statue is not a new issue. The TDP has been trying to get it installed in Parliament House complex since 2000 and the issue got stuck in procedural delays all these years.
What triggered the current acrimony between Purandeswari and others in the family was the former's claim last week that she has been given the go-ahead by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to install NTR's statue in Parliament House complex.
She sought to claim credit for the "achievement" and derided Chandrababu for doing nothing on the issue. The TDP president hit back with an open letter to "NTR fans and people of AP" three days ago by placing all "facts" and a plea not to politicise the issue.
The next day, Venkateswara Rao took his turn and accused Chandrababu of failing to get NTR's statue installed in Parliament despite claiming himself to be a "kingmaker" during the erstwhile NDA regime.
Venkateswara Rao immediately faced severe rebuke from TDP leaders who accused his wife of "blocking" their efforts to get NTR's statue installed along with that of freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju.