The Telugu Desam president Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu’s hopes of uniting the NTR family in his favour received a setback on Wednesday, when popular actor Junior NTR, who is said to be most popular in the NTR clan, declined to join the Yuva Garjana meeting at Guntur on November 5. Junior NTR said his schedule for shooting of his new film MLA was the reason for his absence.
Mr Naidu has asked his aides to convince Junior NTR to re-consider his decision and invited him for one-on-one talks. Junior NTR came to Mr Naidu’s residence in the morning and both of them had a 45-minute discussion, during which Mr Naidu is learnt to have appealed to the actor to attend the Yuva Garjana meeting as the party is taking it as a prestige issue.
An unrelenting Junior NTR made it clear that he had his reasons for not attending the meeting and requested Mr Naidu not to insist on his presence. “I will join the TD campaign at a later date. Now I have prior commitments which I have to honour,” he said according to sources close to Mr Naidu. The TD president tried to convince the young actor that abstaining from the meeting at this juncture would send a wrong message to both his fans and the TD cadre as there are rumours on the differences within the Junior NTR family.
Sources in the party informed that Junior NTR was furious after he came to know that some NTR family members were lobbying against candidates for whom he had recommended party tickets in next elections. “The actor is very much concerned especially for Vamsi, producer of the film MLA. Mr Vamsi wanted to contest from Gannavaram in Krishna district. But the actor’s father Hari Krishna and other local TD leaders are bent upon allotting the Gannavaram seat to their own men” said a senior TD leader.
In MLA, Junior NTR is said to be playing a powerful angry young man who ultimately enters politics and becomes an MLA. According to sources, Junior NTR’s uncle, the actor Balakrishna, is a poor orator, Kalyam Ram and Taraka Ratha have very little recognition in the public and Mr Hari Krishna, with his health problems may not be available for entire campaign. Only Junior NTR has the voice and the ideas to pull off a sustained campaign for the Telugu Desam, according to the party.