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Meira unveils NTR statue

Meira unveils NTR statue
Highlights

Galaxy of leaders attend the function, including PM NTR family comes together; Lakshmi Parvathi too Harikrishna and Jr NTR were present; but...

  • Galaxy of leaders attend the function, including PM
  • NTR family comes together; Lakshmi Parvathi too
  • Harikrishna and Jr NTR were present; but Bhuvaneswari and Lokesh stayed away
  • The statue was installed after a 13-year controversy
  • NTR third Andhra leader to have statue in parliament after Prakasam and N G Ranga
  • Purandeswari donated the statue and played hostess at the function
  • Naidu was happy and wants Bharat Ratna for NTR

ntr statue

Venkat Parsa

New Delhi : Speaker Meira Kumar on Tuesday unveiled a 9.3ft high bronze statue of legendary N T Rama Rao at the entrance to the Rajya Sabha in Parliament House. NTR is the third leader from Andhra Pradesh, whose statues have been put up in Parliament House, the others being Andhra Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam and Prof. N G Ranga. It all goes to the credit of Union Minister of State for Commerce D Purandeshwari, who is the daughter of NTR and donated her father's statue and obtained the necessary clearances and played hostess at the prestigious function in Parliament House. The statue was sculpted by Debu Shankar.

A galaxy of leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attended the function. Congress president Sonia Gandhi was conspicuous by her absence. TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu, who is also the son-in-law of NTR, Lakshmi Parvati, who is the second wife of NTR, and his film star son N Balakrishna and grandson Junior NTR, besides N Harikrishna were all in attendance, besides all the TDP MPs, led by TDP Parliamentary Party leader Nama Nageshwar Rao. Interestingly, Naidu's wife Bhuvaneswari and son Lokesh did not attend.

The venue was decked up for the occasion, as dignitaries poured in. After the unveiling of the statue by Speaker Meira Kumar in the presence of Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and a host of Union Ministers, leaders of various political parties and NTR's family members, the assembled leaders paid floral tributes. For one, who fiercely advocated Telugu pride and brought recognition to the Telugus nationally and internationally, it comes as a befitting finale for the over decade-long efforts made to install NTR statue in Parliament House by D Purandeshwari, who was profusely congratulated on the occasion.

Union Ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sushil Kumar Shinde, K Chiranjeevi, Jairam Ramesh, Farooq Abdullah, S Jaipal Reddy, Kamal Nath, Sharad Pawar, Tariq Anwar, M M Pallam Raju, V Kishore Chandra Deo, Sarve Satyanarayana, Balram Naik, Killi Krupa Rani and V Narayansami were present. A NDA Working Chairman L K Advani, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, her counterpart in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, senior BJP leaders M Venkaiah Naidu and Murli Manohar Joshi, came to attend the function, cutting short the meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party.

Jayaprada, MP and co-star of NTR, and Mohan Babu were present on the occasion, besides NDA Convenor Sharad Yadav, CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and Supriya Sule, NCP leader and daughter of Sharad Pawar. A The BJP and the Left Front together had backed the National Front Government at the Centre in 1989, when NTR was the National Front Chairman. NTR is credited with crafting the strategy to pave the way for the emergence of a political alternative at the Centre to the ruling Congress in 1989, after dislodging it from power for the first time since Independence in Andhra Pradesh in 1983.

Changing her decision at the last minute, NTR's second wife Lakshmi Parvathi also attended the function, a rare occasion that brought together the family of the late leader.A Parvathi had said in Hyderabad on Monday night that she would not be going to Delhi though she received a message from Meira Kumar saying she may attend the function if she desires.

She told reporters after the ceremony that Meira Kumar had clarified that she did not send invitations to anybody. "She told me not to mind it. I also said sorry to her because I had threatened to file a case against her," said Parvathi, who was happy over NTR's family coming together for the occasion.Parvathi, whom NTR had married in 1994, was never accepted as a part of the family after NTR's death in January 1996, a few months after his son-in-law N. Chandrababu unseated him from power following her alleged growing interference in party affairs and administration.

Both Naidu and Parvathi had targeted Purandeswari for not receiving the invitations for the ceremony. Though belonging to rival parties, Naidu, Purandeswari and her brothers all came together for the occasion and were seen exchanging pleasantries.A TDP MP Harikrisna and his son Junior NTR have been staying away from party activities for the last couple of years as they are reportedly unhappy with Naidu for promoting his son N Lokesh as his successor.

Some Congress MPs from the state attended the ceremony but others who were not happy over the honour extended to NTR, stayed away. NTR, a thespian who was worshipped as god by many, had created a record by coming to power within nine months after launching TDP, ending the monopoly of Congress in state politics. With revolutionary pro-poor schemes like Rs 2-a-kg rice and total prohibition, he became one of the greatest leaders in Andhra Pradesh's history.

His statue was unveiled after a 13-year controversy. Purandeswari, who joined the Congress party in 2004, had been targeting Naidu for not coming forward to donate the statue, despite the concerned parliamentary committee giving its approval for installing the same in 2000. Naidu was then the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. He, however, blamed his successor YS Rajasekhara Reddy for creating hurdles.

After Tuesday's ceremony, Naidu said he was happy over the honour given to the late leader. The TDP chief also demanded the Bharat Ratna for NTR. He said NTR brought recognition to Telugus at the national level.

Purandeswari for Bharat Ratna to NTR

Venkat Parsa

New Delhi: After the unveiling of NTR statue in Parliament House on Tuesday, Union Minister of State for Commerce D Purandeswari has set her sights on working for securing Bharat Ratna for NTR. There has been a long-standing demand for Bharat Ratna for NTR and with the help of senior leaders and well-wishers, this could be possible, she said.

Purandeswari was speaking at the release of a pictorial biography, titled, NTR: From Frames to Fame, which was released by former BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu in the presence of CPI general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy and family members of NTR at a function specially got up at Andhra Pradesh Bhavan on Tuesday, soon after the unveiling of the statue in Parliament House.

As family members, she said they could see only one dimension of NTR as a father. There are other leaders, who have seen him as an associate in the political arena. Purandeswari suggested to Venkaiah Naidu, who was closely associated with NTR, especially when he was unseated from power in 1984 and successfully worked for his reinstatement within a month, should pen his memoirs, which will reveal a great deal about the yet-unknown facets of NTR.

At the function, speaker after speaker congratulated Purandeswari and her husband Daggubati Venkateshwar Rao not only for the wonderful pictorial biography but also for installing NTR's statue in Parliament House, which was the dream of eight crore Telugus. Yelamanchali Shivaji, Nandamuri Jayakrishna and Koneru Ramkrishna Rao also spoke on the occasion. TDP leader and film star N Balakrishna joined the chorus in complimenting the Daggubati couple. Balakrishna said like the freedom struggle, which was an era, in the post-Independence period, NTR had ushered in a new era. Revolutionary reforms were brought in by NTR. His schemes like Rs 2-a -kg rice, Janata dhoti and saree and women empowerment programmes are now being replicated nationally in different States.

Former BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu told Purandeswari that he cannot praise her party, the Congress, but he cannot resist the temptation to praise her, as she has risen to her present position by the sheer dint of training and hard work. Recalling his close association with NTR, Venkaiah Naidu said, NTR had rare qualities. He was the first truly non-Congress Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh since Independence. He succeeded in uniting the Opposition and bringing it to power at the Centre in 1989, after defeating the Congress.

NTR brought for the Telugus a distinct recognition, nationally and internationally. NTR was instrumental in encouraging the development of Telugu language. Despite long years in power, NTR remained untainted by corruption charges. What is more, he said, NTR was an uncompromising leader, besides being a great host. CPI general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy recounted an incident to bring out the sensitive nature of NTR.

When Mahbubnagar was hit by drought, the farmers staged a padayatra and marched to Hyderabad. When NTR learnt about it, he was anguished and wondered why he was not informed about it, instead of making the poor farmers walk all the way to Hyderabad. He called his ministerial colleague P Mahendranath and worked a scheme and announced 50,000 pensions for the people there. As a political party, the CPI had even entered into heated arguments with NTR but he was always generous to his opponents, as well.

Statues of Prakasam, NG Ranga adorn Parliament House

New Delhi: The statues of two prominent Telugu personalities already adorned the precincts of Parliament House � one that of Andhra Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam and the other one that of Prof NG Ranga. The statue of N T Rama Rao is the third one.

The life-size bronze statue of veteran freedom fighter and member of the Constituent Assembly, `Andhra Kesari' Tanguturi Prakasam, was unveiled in Parliament House by the then President K.R. Narayanan on May 5, 2000. The then Vice-President, Krishan Kant, the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then Lok Sabha Speaker, G.M.C. Balayogi, several Union Ministers and senior Parliamentarians were present on the occasion. On behalf of the Andhra Pradesh Government, the donor of the statue, the then State Home Minister Devender Goud attended the unveiling ceremony.

Likewise, one comes across the statue of Prof. N.G. Ranga, a veteran parliamentarian and freedom fighter at the Entrance Hall to the Lok Sabha Lobby near Gate No. 4 of Parliament House.A The statue, sculpted by D. Shankar and Brothers, was unveiled by the then Vice-President of India Krishan Kant on July 27, 1998. A This statue was also donated by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

TRS demands PV's statue in ParliamentA

Hyderabad: Close on the heels of unveiling N T Rama Rao's bronze statue in the central hall of the Parliament, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has demanded a similar honour for former prime minister and son of the soil P V Narasimha Rao.

Talking to reporters here on Tuesday, Siddipet legislator T Harish Rao has urged the Centre to construct a ghat in memory of Narasimha Rao like other former prime ministers. He said great injustice was meted to the former prime minister by the Centre. The TRS leader called upon Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana and Telangana Congress MPs to lobby hard with the Congress high command and ensure that Narasimha Rao gets the respect which is long overdue.

NTR statue in Parliament � a non-event in his home district

D Gopi

Vijayawada: The much-talked about installation and subsequent unveiling of the life-size bronze statue of the late Dr N T Rama Rao went off as a non-event in his home district, Krishna, on Tuesday. The Telugu Desam leaders, who claim the legacy of the late leader, kept off from the event but for garlanding of his statue in the city in a simple way and his portrait at the party office in the most insignificant manner.

Surprisingly, the event was not celebrated either in his home town, Gudivada or his native village, Nimmakuru, where most of his family members and relatives live. Even the cities of Vijayawada and Guntur where he studied Intermediate and graduation respectively and in Mangalagiri town where he did his first government job as sub-registrar, remained silent to the event, which was celebrated with great fervor in the corridors of Parliament. Interestingly, NTR's was the last statue to be unveiled in Parliament.

TD senior leader and former MP, Gadde Ramamohan, along with the party urban unit president, K Nagul Meera, led a group of the party leaders to the NTR Circle at Patamata where they garlanded his statue hailing the event. A The TD leaders, who make every event in a big way and invite the media, remained silent for this event making it a customary and simple. Surprisingly, the party leaders who organize birth and death anniversaries of the party leaders at the party office here, too, left the event to be celebrated in a low-key profile by the party's women's wing � Telugu Mahila � leaders. The women, led by urban unit president, M Narayanamma, garlanded the portrait of NTR and recalled the services of the late leader to the State and the people.

The top leaders of the party, including the party district president and Mylavaram legislator, Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, who is seen often in the media, were not seen in the vicinity. A NTR did his schooling at Gandhiji Municipal High School and Intermediate at the SRR and CVR Government College. He did his graduation in Guntur and the first job in Mangalagiri. His film and political career had brought him several friends, supporters, sympathizers and loyalists in these three towns, who left the event go unrecognized, made the event a discreet. The TD leaders were conspicuous by their silence as they feared that any celebration of the event would be credited to Union Minister Daggubati Purandheswari and Congress party.

Surprisingly, NTR's home town, Gudivada too remained silent to the event and it is attributed to the exit of the party sitting MLA Kodali Nani to the YSR Congress. It is believed that Nani would have made it a greater and fitting event had he been in the Telugu Desam. A The irony is that his film fans from the city too have let the event go unnoticed making people think that the TD was more concern about the credit going to Purandheswari rather than the honour accorded to the late leader by the nation.

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