Telugu Desam Party president and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu turned 58 on Sunday.
A large number of party leaders and activists, including sitting legislators, Parliamentarians and former ministers, greeted him at his Jubilee Hills residence. They offered him bouquets, garlands, sweets and fruits. Party leaders also organised ‘annadanam’ (providing food to the needy) at various places, sent food to government-run hostels and conducted a blood donation camp at NTR Trust Bhavan.
Naidu’s brother-in-law and Member of Parliament Nandamuri Harikrishna inaugurated the blood donation camp.
Accompanied by party leaders, Naidu visited NTR Ghat — the samadhi of TDP founder and Telugu matinee idol-N T Rama Rao — on the banks of Hussainsagar lake. He said that NTR had launched the TDP to ensure the development of the state and the welfare of the people.
Naidu said that the TDP, under his stewardship, aimed at ushering the third generation economic reforms for the benefit of the poorer sections. He lamented that the reforms undertaken so far had only benefited some states and the rich sections of society.
The TDP leader said that he visited NTR’s samadhi to seek his blessings for embarking on a 100-day rath yatra. Naidu has chalked out plans to step out on the state-wide yatra from a Dalit colony in Rayalapuram village in his native district, Chittoor, on Monday. Incidentally, Naidu had launched his poll campaign way back in February 1978 from the same colony, when he had successfully contested for an Assembly seat from Chandragiri constituency, on a Congress ticket.
It was during his stint as a minister in the successive Congress ministries in the early 1980s that Naidu had married NTR’s third daughter-Bhuvaneshwari-in September 1981. After NTR stormed to power in the January 1983 Assembly elections, Naidu deserted the Congress and latched onto the NTR bandwagon.
In September 1995, Naidu toppled NTR, barely nine months after his father-in-law regained power in December 1994. Naidu lost power in the 2004 Assembly elections after serving as chief minister for almost eight and a half years.
Now, with the next Assembly elections hardly a year away, Naidu is undertaking the marathon rath yatra to dethrone the Congress regime under his one-time friend-turned- arch-rival Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy.
By Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad