A brawl broke out between two groups of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) at a celebration event conducted by the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) in Philadelphia city of the United States on Sunday, July 9, allegedly over an argument concerning the party leadership. According to reports, the fight erupted after a supporter of actor Junior NTR protested at the event against the leadership of Nara Lokesh, who has been elevated as TDP’s national general secretary. Lokesh is the son of Nara Chandrababu Naidu, who is the party’s national president.
Jr NTR’s supporters, who said they are worried about the party’s diminishing prospects, wanted the actor to replace Lokesh and lead the party in the 2024 elections. This led to supporters of Nara Lokesh getting into a verbal argument with those of Junior NTR. A section of the attendees soon divided into two groups led by TDP leaders Tarani Parchuri and Satish Vemana, and the brawl escalated to fist fights, according to newstap.
TANA’s annual celebration for this year was inaugurated by former Vice President Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu, former Chief Justice of Supreme Court NV Ramana, and actor and Hindupur MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna on Saturday.
Lokesh and Jr NTR are first cousins, sons of siblings Nara Bhuvaneswari and Nandamuri Harikrishna respectively. Lokesh is also a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council. Both of them are grandsons of legendary actor and politician NT Rama Rao, who founded the TDP in 1982.
Though Jr NTR had campaigned for the TDP in 2009, he was later sidelined by the party’s leadership. After the fallout with the party, the actor had been staying away from politics. However, as it is perceived that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy might form the government yet again, there has been a growing clamour to bring back Jr NTR into the party and rejuvenate the cadre.
Earlier this year, Lokesh had invited Jr NTR to join TDP, but the actor has not made any decision on that front.