The Telugu Desam Party was agog with reports that cine actor Nandamuri Balakrishna had instructed party leaders “not to welcome or participate in programmes” of cine actor Jr. NTR during his visit to the city.

Corroborating the talk on the grapevine, all the TDP leaders maintained distance from Jr. NTR who was in the city on a promotional tour on Saturday. Notable among the absentees was TDP Urban president Vallabhaneni Vamsi, who is close to Nandamuri Harikrishna and his son Jr. NTR. Neither were there any welcome banners nor hullabaloo by the party cadre in the city.

The party senior leaders, in private, agree that Mr. Balakrishna has suggested to them not to be “over enthusiastic” about Jr. NTR’s visit to the city. And even “participation in his (Jr. NTR) programmes was unacceptable,” was the cryptic message to party’s top brass in the district, who faithfully sent the message to the rank and file of the party, they say.

They also pointed out that Jr. NTR had not informed them about his visit to the city. “How can we stand in the crowd with folded hands without any invitation?” said a senior leader. TDP district president Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, however, rubbished the rumours saying, “There are no such instructions either from Mr. Balakrishna or from the party.”

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