The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Monday demanded that the most prestigious Bharat Ratna be conferred on the party founder and the former chief minister of the combined Andhra Pradesh.
In separate letters addressed to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and Union Home Minister, Amith Shah, TDP Rajya Sabha member, Kanakamedala Ravinda Kumar said that as the chief minister of the combined Andhra Pradesh, NT Rama Rao, had introduced several welfare schemes like Rs 2-a-kg rice for all families, Janata Vastralu and power supply to farmers at Rs 50 per horsepower. Popularly known as NTR, he abolished the patel-patwari system which was then prevailing in Telangana and decentralised the administration besides introducing administration structure based on local dialect.
Kanakamedala said in the letters to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister that the introduction of the Reservation Bill for the political empowerment of women and Backward Classes (BCs) is a testament to his foresight. At the national level too he 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 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 he played a very important role in ensuring the responsibility of the executive to the legislature which is one of the main features of democracy, Kanadamedala noted in separate letters letters to both Modi and Amith Shah. The TDP MP recalled the services of the late NTR as 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 for women in ancestral property and placed daughters at par with sons, Kanakamedala said that the pioneering act of NT Rama Rao was later emulated by the Centre. Considering the stature and selfless service rendered by the late NT Rama Rao, 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, Kanakamedala said in the letters and made a fervent appeal to both the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to consider his request.