TIRUPATI: Adding fuel to the persistent demand from Telugu Desam functionaries to bring in Tollywood actor Junior Nandamuri Tharaka Ramarao to active politics and project him as the face of the party, his fans hoisted a flag with his image imprinted on it in Kuppam constituency. Kuppam is the bastion of TD chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu.
The fans of the actor, grandson of legendary NTR, erected a 40-foot-long flag post and hoisted on it a white-coloured flag with Jr NTR's picture on it and raised a banner with this demand at the Mulakalapalli village.
The activists raised slogans in support of Jr NTR and pleaded with him to return to active politics and take over the reins of the party from former chief minister Naidu, whose stocks are steadily down.
Ever since the TD faced a humiliating defeat in the 2019 assembly polls and in recent local body elections, there has been plea that Jr NTR take over the leadership of TD. Else, if the party perishes, it would be suicidal for the rank and file.
Whenever Naidu held a meeting with his party workers, it became a routine practice among activists to echo this demand.
When Naidu was addressing the public at Santhipuram mandal in his own constituency on February 26, he faced a tricky situation. Party activists raised slogans in support of Jr NTR and Naidu was embarrassed. A few TD leaders also opined that if Jr NTR could be projected as the next chief ministerial candidate, the party’s fortunes would revive and help it win the 2024 polls.
The flag-hoisting event turned many heads towards Kuppam. Some prominent TD leaders in Kuppam are upset and in despair after the party faced humiliating defeats in 2019 elections and in the recent local body elections.
Currently, anti-TD winds are blowing strong in Kuppam. A few leaders have approached the party high command, saying they see less chances of reviving the party as CM Jagan with his welfare programmes is outwitting the Opposition.
In the meantime, a section of TD rank and file, mainly the young lot, has come to the conclusion that Junior NTR can be the saviour for the party. The actor has, on several occasions in the past, made it clear that he would work as an activist for the party and do more if a situation so required.
On the other hand, Naidu is trying his best to establish his son Nara Lokesh as the face of the party. Hence, Naidu is remaining tight-lipped about the call to get the actor to the forefront. For him, this is a tricky situation.