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Nadendla `regrets' founding TDP

By Our Staff Reporter

Rajahmundry Jan. 19. After Nara Rammurthy Naidu, former MLA and the politically estranged brother of the Chief Minister, Nara Chandrababu Naidu, who expressed `regret' for supporting the latter to become Chief Minister, it is now the turn of the former Chief Minister, a `founder' of the TDP and currently a senior Congress leader, Nadendla Bhaskara Rao, to express `regret and repent' the formation of the TDP more than two decades ago.

Claiming that the TDP was his `brainchild' and it was he who had framed the manifesto of the party, Mr. Bhaskara Rao recalled his `weakness', which had resulted in the launching of the TDP. `Everybody was becoming the Chief Minister, why should `Manavaadu' not occupy the chair? he had thought then and launched the TDP. When asked to clarify what he meant by `Manavaadu', he preferred not to answer the question.

Does Manavaadu meant a person from his own caste? "You draw your own conclusion," was his reply. "But that was a weakness by which I was carried away then, I should not have done it and I am sorry for that," Mr. Bhaskara Rao, who was Chief Minister for just one month after dethroning N.T. Rama Rao in the infamous coup of August 1984, said here. "I founded the regional party to do some good for the State, but the purpose has been defeated," he said.

Mr. Bhaskara Rao who was here on a personal visit spoke to presspersons on Sunday. Describing the implementation of the Food For Work programme by the TDP Government in the State involving Rs.3,000 crores as the mother of all scams, Mr. Bhaskara Rao urged the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, to order an enquiry into the whole issue. A probe is required because the money was given by the Centre, he said.

The former Chief Minister also faulted the priorities of the TDP Government and charged it with neglecting the farm sector in the rural areas, which formed the backbone of the economy. "If the country has not adversely been affected by the worldwide phenomenon of recession, it is because of agriculture and our enterprising farmers," he said.

On the demand of BCs for reserving the post of Chief Minister if the Congress returned to power, Mr. Bhaskara Rao said "it is improper to discuss the issue now. In fact at present it is a non-issue." On the issue of free power supply on which the Congress Governments in different States had taken different stands, Mr. Bhaskara Rao said that the issue would have to be discussed by the high command.

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