Strong candidates in Telugu Desam Party tasted defeat in the elections

The leaders and cadres of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Nellore district were not surprised by the leadership’s decision on taking Narayana Educational Institutions chairman Ponguru Narayana into the Ministry as this has long come up in speculation.

The political circles are seeing the Narayana choice as a calculated move made by TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu at a time when the party has won just three out of the total 10 Assembly constituencies in the recent elections.

Strong probables for Ministerial berths like former minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, weaker sections leader Parasa Ratnam and Backward Classes leader Beeda Mastan Rao tasted defeat in the just concluded elections.

The prevailing stakes for the TDP in the district gave scope for the party president to depart from the tradition and bring his most trusted associate into the forefront. By inducting Mr. Narayana, the TDP is also sending a message that it is going to nurture the ‘Balija Kapu’ community, which is numerically strong in Nellore and surrounding areas.

The news of Mr. Narayana being named in the Naidu’s Cabinet has triggered celebrations among the staff and students of Narayana Educational Institutions. He rose from a contract lecturer in VR College in Nellore to the chairman of an educational group, which has a medical college, engineering college and hundreds of junior colleges and coaching centres.

Born in Nellore in 1957, Mr. Narayana studied up to class 10 in Oruganti Rukminamma Memorial School and Intermediate and degree at the Venkatagiri Rajah’s College. He passed PG at Sri Venkateswara University with distinction.

After giving up lecturer’s post, Mr. Narayana started his own private coaching centre and got well-known for his capabilities to train students for Eamcet and IIT-JEE.

His friends and relatives talk about Mr. Narayana’s hard working nature, which was what made the son of a private bus conductor to become the head of a big group of educational institutions.

Mr. Narayana never showed interest in active politics and he was said to have refused to accept TDP ticket to contest direct elections several times in the past. The present honour to him was seen as a recognition given to him for his continued involvement in the party’s administration for three decades.

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