Actor Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao also known as Junior NTR has categorically refuted allegations that he was behind the political machinations of his close associate and TDP MLA from Gudivada, Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao alias Nani.

The MLA was suspended for ‘anti-party activities’ minutes after he met YSR Congress honorary president, Vijayalakshmi at her Banjara Hills residence on Monday. In a blow to the party on a day when it is holding its extended executive meeting, Mr. Nani is likely to join the YSR Congress and expected to meet Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy at the Chanchalguda prison later in the day.

Calling for a press conference within hours of the TDP’s action against Mr. Nani, the actor said, “I am just 28 years-old and do not consider myself old enough to be playing politics. As long as I am alive I will continue to be with the party founded by my grandfather because it is my bounded duty. However, being an actor and having a family to support, cinema is my priority,” he said.

When presspersons persisted with questions about his “differences” with TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu or his uncle, actor N. Balakrishna, he brushed them aside, saying that it was not true. “I am close to all of them, including mamayya (uncle) and will be available for the party anytime I am required,” he asserted.

Refusing to elaborate further and not really being very keen on fielding more questions, he cut the press meet short. “Anybody who is not close to the TDP is not close to me,” he stated, before leaving the press conference.

Late on Monday evening, Mr. NTR is due to fly to Italy where he will spend over two weeks shooting for his latest film Badshah, directed by Srinu Vytla.

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