PART - 4

 

ENTRY IN TO POLITICS

 

A glorious day in ooty in October 1981.


A movie entitled "SARDAR PAPARAYUDU" was being shot at Ooty. On that day Sri N.T. Rama Rao who was greatly respected and idolized as a mythical cine hero by the Telugu-speaking people was acting in the above movie. Sri N.T. Rama Rao was playing the role of SARDAR PAPARAYUDU who was a dedicated individual to put an end to the injustice and atrocities of the society.

During the during the breake time. Sri NTR was sitting in a chair and closing his eyes, he was recollecting the dialogues of the following scene. At that time some journalists came there and NTR warmly greeted them and enquired of their welfare. While conversing with NTR one Journalist said to NTR " Sir, in another six months you will be sixty years of age and in view of that will you be taking any major and important decision?"

Sri NTR thought over for a while and replied to the journalist " I was born in a small village called Nimmakuru. The Telugu-speaking people have been supporting me and endearing me to their hearts for the last 30 years. They have been showering so much love on me. They have been seeing the movies in which I acted and they have made me a wealthy man. They brought me honor and fame. I am greatly indebted to the Telugu-speaking people. Now it is my duty to pay off the debt, which I owe to the people. From my next birthday onwards I would like to spend fifteen days of a month in the service of the people. " Sri N.T.R. never comments on any thing in a jocular way but if he takes a decision he is bound by it and he fulfills it under any circumstances. All the magazines of the silver screen published the exciting news. A political newspaper from Nellore announced that Sri N.T.R. was starting a new political party. This news spread like wild fire throughout the state. People began to discuss the matter at great length.

 

   The political conditions in the state

 

In the General Elections of 1978 the Congress Party secured only 37% of votes but came to power. The political and social conditions began to deteriorate during the Congress regime. Corruption spread like cancer to all walks of political and social life. The Chief Minister got celebrated the attainment of 60 Years (Shashtipurthi) of age, with great pomp and show. Donations were collected on a grand scale by making the public believe that the collected donations were for the Congress party fund and the political power was misused by the Congress leaders and the people were awe stricken at the turn of the events.

As there was disharmony among the Congress leaders, the Chief Minister had to step down. Another Chief Minister was sent from the Delhi Darbar. The new Chief Minister formed his Government consisting of 61 ministers. Some Congress legislators became chairmen of several corporations. All the national newspapers announced that the Government would become bankrupt. Everyone looted the Government and because of disharmony among the Congress leaders the Chief Minister was sent from New Delhi. During his regime corruption spread in new dimensions. When the Assembly was about to be dissolved in two or three months the Chief Minister had to step down and the fourth Chief Minister in a span of 5 years was appointed by the Delhi Political Pundits.


 

   Abnormal failure of congress in a span of five years


The people were disgusted and disappointed with the rule of the Congress Party in a span of five years. Changing of Chief Ministers for every simple reason, the Government getting entangled in corruption is the apparent causes for the failure of the Congress rule. A common man also was able to perceive the truth about the failure of the administration in the political and social fields. The developmental activities came to a stand still and the Goverments's expenditure on establishment sector doubled up. The five-year rule of the Congress from 1978-83 is to be considered as the " Golden Age of Corruption". No one knows who will be appointed as the C.M. and no one knows when the C.M. will be removed. The administrators are hand in glove with the political leaders. Bribery was rampant, crores of rupees were collected in the name of party funds and no one was there to check it. The Congress leaders became sycophants and they were frequently going to Delhi, and staying in star hotels and they were appeasing their bosses to protect their positions and ranks.

The people in the state felt whether there was justice, rule of law, and administration at all; the opposition parties also were in the same position. Elected representatives of the Janatha Party and of Reddy Congress Party suddenly changed their minds, relinquished their parties and joined the ruling Congress. An opposition leader, who was dead against to the ruling party, overnight changed his mind, jumped into the Congress Party and became the Cabinet Minister. It was all a great fun and shame. The Congress High Command offered positions to the stepped down ministers and they made the people believe that the Congress was in good command of the situation.
 

Politics and N.T.R


Sri N.T.R. determined to serve the people by entering into politics. Some of the close friends of N.T.R. said, "Politics is a kind of quagmire. After knowing the truth about the politics, why do you get into politics? You are so successful on the silver screen. You are earning so well in this field."

N.T.R. began to think in a different angle. He knew pretty well that the celluloid world would give him infinite wealth. When the Congress High Command changed the Chief Ministers four times, he felt that the self-respect of the Telugu speaking people was wounded. Sri N.T.R. felt that the self-respect of the Telugu-speaking people was pawned to the High Command. On one particular occasion, when the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh went to the Hyderabad Airport, in order to welcome a Congress leader from Delhi, the leader ill-treated the Chief Minister. This incident caused so much dismay to all the Telugu Speaking people.

Sri N.T.R. knew the feelings of the people of Andhra Pradesh. He didn't like to waste time. He completed the call sheets of the pictures to which he entered into contract. Some leaders, who didn't like the politics of Congress, were waiting for a chance. They were curiously watching the situation. On March 21, 1982 when N.T.R. came to Hyderabad from Ooty there was red-carpet welcome to him from his fans, well wishers and from some political leaders.

Meanwhile there were dramatic changes in the Congress Party. Sri Nadella Bhasakara Rao, the sitting member of the Legislative Assembly resigned from Congress, even to the primary membership. He decided to join the new party, which was being started by N.T.R.

On the 28th of March 1982 Sri N.T.R. reached Hyderabad. The steering committee consisting of 13 members was formed. Sri N.T.R. was the founder President of the new Party. N.T.R. has great faith in auspicious Muhurthams. He decided to declare the formation of a new party on the 29th of March 1982 at 2.30 p.m. There was tremendous response from the public and the Congress Party members began to shiver.

On the 29th of March 1982 at 2.30 in the afternoon Sri N.T.R. and his followers assembled in the new M.LA. Quarters. The followers of N.T.R. began to shout "Sri N.T.R. Jindabad, Sri N.T.R. Jindabad". There was an echo of the shouting. The meeting place was shifted from the small hall to the lawn of the New M.L.A. quarters.

Sri NTR started addressing the gathering "My dear brothers and sisters, I have been seriously considering the idea of entering into politics. I was wondering how people would react to this new idea; when I see all of you here, It gives me immense pleasure and from this moment onwards I am entering into politics". At the declaration of NTR the people in the gathering were greatly excited and they began to clap their hands with whistles.

Someone from the gathering has asked " Sir, what is the name of your party?" Sri NTR glanced around and said, "Telugu Desam". He also said "I am a born Telugu; from today onwards I dedicate my life for the service of the Telugu's and for the state. I would work for protecting the Telugu culture, for enhancing the greatness of Telugu Language and I would strive to protect the self-respect of the people. That's why our party's name is "Telugu desam".

 

The first public meeting


The first public meeting was held on the 11th of April 1982 in Nizam College Grounds. Sri NTR started in the open Jeep from Rama Krishna Studio. There was tremendous ovation from the people all the way up to the meeting place. People came from all corners of Andhra Pradesh to attend the meeting. Sri NTR said, " You are all behind me ! There is no question of going back". Sri NTR delivered an emotional speech and people began to think about the realities of life. The people were greatly impressed by the oratory of Sri NTR. The leaders who attended the meeting felt that the Congress party would face a tug of war in the ensuing elections.

Lord Venkateswara of Tirupathi is considered by all the people as the deity of the Kaliyuga. Many people start something new after having the Darshan of Lord Venkateswara. Sri N.T.R. who follows the spiritual path of life has decided to hold the second meeting. Every Year the birthday of Sri N.T. Rama Rao is celebrated by his friends and fans in great pomp and show. The 60th birthday of Sri N.T.R. has great significance because he is entering the field of politics

It was a mammoth gathering. Sri N.T.R. has many fans in the RoyalaSeema area. The fans of N.T.R. came to the Tirupathi meeting to see him and to hear his message. Every one who attended the meeting was enamoured of N.T.R. The success of the second meeting heralded a new era in the political history of Andhra Pradesh. In the beginning some political leaders thought that because of cinema glamour people were coming to the public meetings of Sri N.T.R. But gradually they realized that N.T.R. made a mark on the political map of Andhra Pradesh
 

  Chaitanya Radham


Usually political leaders go in cars or helicopters to address the people. But N.T.R. has made a new experiment. He got repaired a Chevrolet van which was like a moving platform. Wherever people gathered, N.T.R. used to go to the top of the van and address the people to make them know about the misrule of Congress. People slowly developed faith in the ideology of the Telugu Desam. The Chevrolet van was named as Chaitanya Radham.

The caption on the Chaitanya Radham is "Telugu Desam is calling you! Come on!. People young and old, women and children ran after he Chaitanya Radham and they were very keen to listen to the speeches of Sri N.T.R. The whirlwind trip continued. Sri N.T.R. didn't stay in hotels and lodges. He moved in the van; delivered speeches from the top of the van; ate in the van; slept in the van and took his bath near the roadside water point. It was a new way of canvassing.

  

N.T.R's speeches and appreciation of the people


N.T.R. was good at delivering long dialogues with clear pronunciation. This art helped him to attract the people and endear them to his heart. There was sweetness in his words and clarity in delivering the dialogues. People never heard such refined words from a political leader. It was a new experience to them. The people greatly felt happy and they were greatly excited when they heard the oratory of Sri N.T.R. Through the canvassing speeches N.T.R. gave a new meaning to politics. People gasped and clapped when N.T.R. delivered beautiful and musical speeches. The speeches and dialogues of N.T.R. were released in the form of cassettes.
 

 

  Indira Gandhi


The news of the popularity of Sri N.T.R. spread far and wide and Smt. Indira Gandhi also came to know about it. Smt. Indira Gandhi felt that it would be very difficult for the Congress to face the Telugu Desam. So, she has decided to change the Chief Minister. Finally the Congress High Command decided to make Sri. K. Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
 

  

General elections before the schedule


Sri N.T.R. toured all the places in Andhra Pradesh travelling in his famous Chaitanya ratham, giving lectures how the Congress party exploited them. The rural folk were greatly inspired by the speeches of Sri N.T. Rama Rao and they revered him by Mangalaharathulu and Raktha tilakam. The Congress leaders were perturbed at the popularity of Sri N.R.R. The popularity was like a big tidal wave and the Congress leaders decided to hold the elections in January 1983 instead of March 1983.

 

 The process of selecting candidates
 

Sri N.T. Rama Rao wanted to introduce new values into politics. He didn't want to select the candidates in a haphazard manner. He selected educated candidates who have good name in the society. Among the candidates who contested on behalf of the Telugu Desam there were 125 graduates, 28 post graduates, 20 physicians, 8 Engineering graduates and 47 law graduates. In Indian politics no other party gave so much importance to youth and qualified candidates.

Smt. Indira Gandhi thought that the people of Andhra Pradesh were on her side. In the general elections of 1977 the Janatha party came to power at the center. But in Andhra Pradesh the Congress party secured majority of the seats. During her election campaign Smt. Indira Gandhi came to know that the people of Andhra were unhappy became the Congress High command went on changing the Chief Minister.

The general elections were to take place in 3 states. Smt. Indira Gandhi alloted 10 days for Andhra Pradesh for election campaign and 9 days for the other two states. Before N.T.R. came to the political scene, people in large numbers used to attend the meetings of Smt. Indira Gandhi. Now, there was a lot of change. At many places there was thin attendance and people expressed their anger by demonstrations.

 

 

     The last election meetings


Smt. Indira Gandhi and Sri N.T.R. planned to have their last election meetings at Tirupathi. The public meeting of Smt. Indira Gandhi was arranged in the premises of Municipal High School at Tirupathi. There was very poor attendance. When Smt. Indira Gandhi talked ill of Sri N.T. Rama Rao the audience began to leave the premises. Somehow Smt. Indira Gandhi completed the election campaign and left for New Delhi.
 

 

   N.T.R. public meeting at tirupathi


The last election meeting of the Telugu Desam was held at Tirupathi. Before the arrival of N.T.R. people anxiously waited for him. All the streets were full with the people who came in large numbers to attend the meeting of Sri N.T. Rama Rao. Everywhere there were yellow flags and people wearing yellow shirts. There was festive mood everywhere. When N.T.R. entered the town people showered flowers on him.
 

 

   Sri N.T. rama rao reminded the people of their self-respect


In the last election meeting Sri N.T. Rama Rao delivered an emotional speech. "The Telugu speaking people have been subjected to humiliations for the last 35 years. In a span of 4 years four Chief Ministers were changed by the Delhi High Command. 294 elected representatives represent 60 million Telugu-speaking people. The Congress High Command sends some one as the Chief Minister. The elected representatives have no voice. Is it not a humiliation to the Telugu speaking people?." Thus, N.T.R. criticized the Congress leaders, who are like puppets in the hands of Smt. Indira Gandhi.

The Telugu Desam is not just a political party, but it is a social revolution to uphold the social and political values of the people. The people have to rule themselves. Corrupt leaders are to be removed from their ranks. Our leaders have forgotten their self-respect. Now, the Telugu speaking people have to get up from their sleep.

The emotional speech of Sri N.T.R. greatly influenced the voters. After complicating the election campaign at Tirupathi, Sri N.T.R. went uphill to have the darshan of Lord Venkateswara and got tonsured as a mark of devotion and left for Hyderabad. Polling was to take place on the following day.

Sri N.T. R. wanted to join hands with the left front. But they did not cooperate with him. He allotted 5 constituencies to Sanjaya Vichar Manch and the Telugu Desam candidates contested in all the remaining 289 Assembly constituencies.
 

 

   January 6, 1983
 

Reddy was very confident that the Congress Party would get the absolute majority. At 10 O' clock night the first result was declared. At Shadnagar the Congress candidate Dr. Sankar Rao won the election. In Shadnagar constituency 65,673 votes polled and out of this, the Congress candidate secured 32,919 votes, and the Telugu Desam candidate secured 29,916 votes and the independent candidate secured 2796 votes. Sri N.T.R. was not surprised at this result. He was very confident that the Telugu Desam would get absolute majority.

On the following day the daily news papers carried the headings as "Telugu Desam superhit". "In the storm of the Telugu Desam the address of the Congress" is lost. The National Congress which has a history of 97 years, was defeated by the Telugu Desam which was founded 9 months before.

All the results were announced by the afternoon of the 7th of January 1983. The Telugu Desam candidates secured absolute majority in 199 constituencies, the Sanjaya Manch secured 4 seats. In the entire state a total of 2,14,96,754 votes polled and out of this, the Telugu Desam got 96,23,361 votes. The Congress secured 60 seats, the C.P.I. 4 seats, the C.P.I (M) 5 seats, the B.J.P 3 seats, and the independents 19 seats.

After the announcement of the results the Telugu Desam members assembled at the Rama Krishna Studio and distributed sweets. They also danced with a state of joy in ecstasy. At about 2 p.m. Sri N.T. Rama Rao came out and greeted the audience with the victory symbol of showing two fingers which represent `V' (V for victory). The audience whistled and clapped hands expressing joy to their leaders.


 

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