Balayya’s warning takes partymen by surprise

Jr. NTR is being sidelined in Telugu Desam Party (TDP) if the recent developments are any indication.

Cine actor Nandamuri Balakrishna was short of warning Jr. NTR over use of latter’s photographs in flexis put up by YSR Congress Party. In a bitter voice Mr. Balakrisha said, “He (Jr. NTR) will face consequences if he doesn’t clear the air on the photographs.”

In fact, the differences between Mr. Balakrishna and Jr. NTR reached climax when the former directed the TDP cadres to boycott the programme of the latter in the city recently.

He even took objection to flexis carrying photographs of Jr. NTR during TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s vastunna meekosam padayatra in the district.

Though Mr. Balakrishna has denied issuing any such dictums, the leaders, in private, grumble that they were caught between devil and deep blue sea.

“We are unable to judge whether we should follow the direction for one simple reason: what is Balakrishna’s official position in the party? Except that the fact that he is heir of TDP founder president N.T. Rama Rao he has no authority to issue such directions, pointed out a leader, who didn’t want to be quoted.

‘Confusion’

“Such directions are creating confusion among the party cadre. If we stop them now, will they enthusiastically attend programmes in future?” he asked.

There is an opinion in the party that Jr. NTR will outperform Lokesh with his oratory skills and charisma. To outwit it, Lokesh is being projected as GenX leader at various fora of the party.

But, both Mr. Harikrishna and Balakrishna are trying to assert themselves in the party.

Jr. NTR-TDP face-off was out in the open after the 2009 elections.

Not in as many words, Mr. Naidu kept him at bay after the party faced drubbing, sources say.

Mr. Balakrishna’s comments buttress this view. “The other political parties have adopted the models chalked out by Mr. Lokesh. The Telugu Desam is keenly following Mr. Lokesh’s plans,” he said.

The cine actor held parleys with party MLAs and senior leaders. In a one-on-one discussions, he sought their opinions and suggestions to improve the prospects of party.