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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
The last election
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.
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
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