03 August, 2021

A Legacy Under Siege

Political turmoil and uncertainty follow the sudden demise of former chief minister N.T. Rama Rao

A Legacy Under Siege
When news of NTR's untimely death due to a massive heart attack in the early hours of January 18 broke, there were shock waves in political circles throughout the country. Though out of power, Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, better known as NTR, was an influential figure in Andhra Pradesh and, as chairman of the National Front (NF), was a leader who mattered in Delhi and carried a charisma which gave him the status of a national leader. His demise means a change in political equations in Andhra Pradesh which is bound to have its impact on national politics.

Within 48 hours of his death there were indications that things would not be the same in Andhra politics. The coterie committed to Lakshmi Parvathi—the MLAs who had been loyal to NTR even during the crisis last year after a coup staged by his son-in-law, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu—probably won't stay committed for long. They are now having second thoughts on whether they should risk their political future with his widow.

In fact, political developments in Andhra Pradesh will largely depend on what happens to the...

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