ANDHRA PRADESH

NTR Jr. asks people to vote for TDP

GUDIVADA, APRIL 24. The up-and-coming actor and Tollywood's latest sensation, NTR Jr, feels that the party presently being headed by N. Chandrababu Naidu is the "real'' Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founded by his late grandfather, N.T. Rama Rao.

He refrains from commenting on the political forays of his aunt, Daggubati Purandareswari, who is contesting as the Congress candidate from Bapatla Lok Sabha constiteuncy. He calls upon people to cast their votes in favour of the TDP. His remarks assume significance in the wake of NTR's second daughter, Purandareswari, and her husband, Daggubati Venkateswara Rao, contesting on behalf of the Congress party for the Bapatla Parliamentary and Parchur Assembly constituencies respectively. The duo have justified their decision by accusing Mr. Naidu of diluting all the principles and ideologies for which the regional outfit was formed by NTR.

Speaking to The Hindu at the family's ancestral home at Nimmakuru village in Gudivada on Saturday, NTR Jr, who is considered to be the celluloid heir of the late N.T.Rama Rao, however, deftly avoided comments on the entry of his aunt, Purnadareswari and uncle, Dr. Venkateswara Rao, into the Congress party. "India is a democratic country and people are free to join the party of their choice. So, I do not want to comment on their decision as it is their wish and will,'' he said in response to a query.

NTR Jr., who canvassed in Gudivada Assembly constituency for the TDP candidate, Kodali Sri Venkateswara Rao alias Nani, on the last day of campaign, however, lavished praise on Mr. Naidu, saying that under his stewardship the State had witnessed "tremendous development'' on various fronts.

Denying that he had any political ambitions, NTR Jr. said that he was just 20 years old and it was too early for him to have such ideas. "I am too young to have the maturity of being a politician. Moreover, I am more keen on establishing myself as a good actor in the film world,'' he said.

NTR Jr., who is popularly known for his acting with mannerisms akin to his grandfather, admitted that he did prevail upon Mr. Naidu to allot the ticket for Mr. Nani. But, he maintained that though he used his influence in getting the nod for Mr. Nani, it was the latter's "good work'' which fetched him ticket.

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