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Telugu Desam Party

Telugu Desam Party (Party for Telugu Land) or TDP is a regional political party in Andhra Pradesh state of India founded by former Telugu film star N.T. Rama Rao on 29 March 1982. N.T. Rama Rao wanted a formidable alternative to the ruling Congress Party in the state. As an outcome of this effort, he established this party, embraced Sanyasa and vowed himself to Telugu people and Telugu land and ultimately to rejenuvate Telugu pride.

TDP's Party Symbol

N.T.Rama Rao toured Andhra extensively in Chaitanya Ratham (literally - a Chariot which spreads energy), his "election vehicle", and made use of the immense popularity of his on-screen movie image to win the next elections. The party was voted to power in a record nine months after its establishment. TDP also won more than 35 (out of 40) Lok Sabha seats in the 1984 Indian Elections. This made TDP the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha as Congress won more than 400 (out of 500 odd) seats in that election.

However, TDP was voted out of power in state in 1988. During his first tenure, N.T. Rama Rao introduced many populist measures like selling 1 kg of rice for Rs.2 etc.

Between 1988 and 1993, N.T. Rama Rao gave up his sanyasa and married a part-time journalist and student of political history, Lakshmi Parvati. In this period, he also played a significant role in national politics by pledging support to the then prime Ministers V.P. Singh and Chandrasekhar (who formed coalition governments in the absence of absolute majority for their respective parties).

TDP rebounded back into power in 1993. N.T. Rama Rao was elected to be the Chief Minister for the second time. But his governing cabinet and his family suffered under what many political observers saw, as "unconstitutional interference in affairs" by his new wife Lakshmi Parvati. In 1995, Nara Chandrababu Naidu, finance minister and the son-in-law of NTR (who is married to NTR's daughter through his first wife) over threw N.T. Rama Rao's government by gathering consensus of majority MLAs. The overwhelming consensus against his party, led to the recognition of the break-away faction by the Election Commission under the original name. NTR the founder-member, ironically had to rename what was left of his party as "TDP-NTR". He vowed to go to the people, seeking fresh mandate after this humiliation. However, within a year, NTR died of natural causes.

After the demise of N.T. Rama Rao in 1996, Lakshmi Parvati split the minority party again in face of other opponents claiming inheritance, but the infighting, fragmentation and the lack of a charismaticfigure like NTR to lead them, led to all such outfits to face political oblivion in the subsequent elections. Chandrababu Naidu remained the leader of the majority faction, now recognised as the official "Telugu Desam". The party also managed to retain their election symbol, "Cycle".

Chandrababu Naidu, considered one of the most dynamic political leaders in India, has publicly expressed his visions to put Hyderabad and the state on the global map by 2020. He wants to make Andhra Pradesh what he calls Swarnaandhra Pradesh. (Golden Andhra Pradesh).

The party, though not a part of the Central Government led by NDA, has pledged issue-based support to it.

See also

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