The standoff over the absence of invitation to TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu for the unveiling of the statue of N.T. Rama Rao in Parliament House on Tuesday was broken with the Lok Sabha Speaker personally calling up Mr. Naidu over phone to extend the invitation. Mr. Naidu will leave for New Delhi along with his wife, Bhuvaneswari, and other family members on Tuesday morning.

Complaint to Speaker

The extension of invitation to Mr. Naidu followed a complaint to the Speaker, Meira Kumar, by the Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party (TDPP) led by its president, Nama Nageswara Rao. The delegation complained to her that leaders of various other parties got the invitation in the past when the statues of their icons were installed in Parliament.

The TDP welcomed the invitation as soon as it was received but the issue kept boiling within the Congress with two Union Ministers and two other MPs complaining to party president Sonia Gandhi that NTR did not deserve such an honour. NTR was never an MP and much less a Union Minister, Anantapur MP Anant Venkatarami Reddy told mediapersons quoting whatever the delegation informed Ms. Gandhi. On the other hand, Vijayawada MP of the Congress, Lagadapati Rajagopal, defended the statue saying NTR had brought recognition to Telugu-speaking people worldwide. It was unfortunate that a needless controversy was raised on the issue.

Meanwhile, NTR’s widow, Lakshmi Parvathi, threatened to lodge police complaints against Ms. Meira Kumar and Ms. Purandeswari for not inviting her to the function. She said this amounted to her not being recognised as NTR’s wife.