Telugu Desam party chief Chandrababu Naidu had asked the Central government to confer Bharata Ratna on late N T Rama Rao, the former chief minister and founder of the Telugu Desam Party. Paying floral tributes to the late leader at the party’s Mahanadu on Monday, the 92nd birth anniversary of late NTR, Chandrababu Naidu felt that the successive governments have ignored the contribution of NTR to the State and the country as well.
It was not the first time that the TDP had asked for Bharata Ratna to NTR. There were several occasions, when the party raised the issue. But, it never happened and the TDP had never put the pressure on the Central government to give Bharata Ratna, the highest civilian honour of the country.
Some time back, NTR’s daughter Daggubati Purandeswari, raised the issue when she was part of the UPA government from 2004 to 2014. She had successfully convinced the Central government to install NTR’s statue in Parliament and her lobbying could not help in getting the Bharata Ratna to NTR. Chandrababu Naidu was never serious about the demand except repeating it in the Mahaanadu every year. The demand did not move beyond the three-day annual Mahanadu event and Chandrababu Naidu never took up the issue with the Central government whether he is part of the government or not.
When Purandeswari took up the issue, it would have become easy for the Central government if Chandrababu Naidu also backed the demand. But he did not want to give the credit to Purandeswari and remained silent. Now that there is no leader from the NTR family to be in power, Chandrababu Naidu raised the demand once again. But, he is not part of the Central government to get his demand accepted. In all probability the demand would not go beyond the Mahanadu this year too and would be repeated in the next Mahanadu.