With the government of India conferring Bharat Ratna on five personalities this year, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has reiterated its demand for honouring its founder and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister late N.T. Rama Rao with the highest civilian award in the country.
The TDP has long been demanding Bharat Ratna for famous actor and politician N.T. Rama Rao, who was popular as NTR.
In separate letters addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amith Shah, TDP Rajya Sabha member Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar said that as the Chief ZMinister of the combined Andhra Pradesh, NTR had introduced several welfare schemes like Rs 2 per kg rice for all families, Janata Vastralu, and power supply to farmers at Rs 50 per horse.
NTR also abolished the patel-patwari system, which was then prevailing in Telangana, and decentralised the administration besides introducing an administration structure based on local dialect.
Ravindra Kumar wrote that the introduction of the Reservation Bill for the political empowerment of women and Backward Class (BCs) is a testament to the late leader's foresight.
At the national level too, NTR played a crucial role in the formation of the National Front (NF), which included parties like the Janata Dal, the Asom Gana Parishad and others along with the TDP, and he became the president of this front, the TDP MP pointed out.
NTR was also instrumental in the formation of a non-Congress government at the Centre in 1989, he added.
This apart, as the leader of the opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, NTR played a very important role in ensuring the responsibility of the executive to the legislature which is one of the main features of democracy, Ravindra Kumar said.
The TDP MP also recalled the services of the late NTR as a social reformer who had created several opportunities in the economic, socio-political, educational and employment sectors.
Terming NTR as the source of inspiration, who gave rights to women in ancestral property and placed daughters at par with sons, the TDP leader claimed the pioneering act of NTR was later emulated by the Centre.
Considering the stature and selfless service rendered by NTR, it would be more befitting to confer upon him the highest civilian award of Bharat Ratna, which will be a matter of pride for not only the Telugu people, but also to the whole nation, he added.