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How could NTR become a CM within 1 year?
NTR, as he was fondly called, launched the Telugu Desam Party in March 1982and on January 5, 1983, to be precise - the fledgling party dealt a crushing blow to the Congress. He was successful in weaning the Telugus from their unflinching loyalty to Indira Gandhi.
Among other reasons why he won the elections was no real alternative to the Congress, lack of development, unemployment etc. The wayward functioning of the Congress in the State and the Andhras' anger over the way the Chief Minister, T. Anjaiah, was insulted in public by Rajiv Gandhi, who was then only the AICC secretary-general, at the Hyderabad airport changed the mood of the public which started looking for an alternative to the Congress. NTR fulfilled that need by espousing the cause of `aarukotla Andhrula atma gauravam' (self-respect of six-crore Andhras). He was very well supported by Ramoji Rao who gave wide publicity through the Telugu daily Eenadu. NTR himself contested elections from the constituency of Gudivada in Krishna District.
Initially ridiculed by the Congress that state politics is not like movie acting among others, TDP was considered a no match for the congress, with the local representatives unheard of, the complete burden rested on the shoulders of NTR, and true to his charisma he won the elections with a landslide majority.
Soon after taking over as Chief Minister, NTR kept many of his election promises, which many had then dismissed as populist and earned a place for himself in the heart of Telugus. After his advent, the Telugus elsewhere got their exclusive identity, breaking away from the original tag of `Madrasis'. While emphasising the importance of Telugu, he, however, held out the assurance that the TDP would also encourage and protect the languages and culture of people from other States.
He believed that only strong States could make a strong Centre. He convinced the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, in this regard which made her change her earlier stance that strong States would mean a weak Centre, says S. Venkat Narayan in his biography of NTR.
Among the most significant change he made was to abolish the Legislative Council of the State of Andhra Pradesh citing the reason that it was a non-performing body which just a burden on the state exchequer. Among the lesser known were the educational reforms he brought about in the state, where he overhauled the entire state education syllabus for schools. These educational reforms were a stepping stone that rose Andhra Pradesh from unknown to top in the Software Industry in the world. NTR lost the subsequent elections held in 1989 mainly to do with his political inexperience and a strong central government lead by Rajiv Gandhi among others. But during the same period he gained valuable experience and had people like N Chandrababu Naidu, Daggubati Venkateswara Rao (both sons-in-Law) in his party.
Even though he lost the 1989 elections, he shot to fame at the national level and was capable of uniting many regional parties. He formed a Third Front with parties like Janata Dal as an alternative to Congress. He offered no competition against PV Narasimha Rao when he was chosen to be the Prime Minister of India, citing that he was proud that an Andhrudu would hold the highest office in the country.
It is believed that he could have become the Prime Minister of India, as the third-front won the national elections and was struggling to find a leader who was acceptable to all the parties.
NTR stormed back to power in 1994 when he promised he would offer rice at Rs. 2/kg and to make AP an "Alcohol Free" state. True to his word he kept his promises only to burden the state exchequer. Apart from introducing the cheap rice scheme of selling the grain at Rs.2 a kilogram for poor people with a monthly income of Rs.500 or less, he fought with the Centre to amend the Hindu Succession Act to ensure equal property rights to women. He introduced educational reforms and laid the foundation for the Telugu Ganga project to provide drinking water to Madras city apart from irrigating the dry lands of Rayalaseema.
Never before Never again
A person like NTR who rose like a big wave by lifting the spirits of Telugus high will remain as unique in the history of Andhra Pradesh. Tired of the fight long way, he said his veedkolu to his Telugu tammullu and chellellu on Jan18, 1996.
According to the poll conducted by CNN-IBN during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of AP formation, NTR is the most popular Andhraite who brought many changes in the history of 50 yr Andhra Pradesh.
He got the place in Guinness Book of World Records by becoming a CM within 9 months after establishing party with the great support of Telugu tammullu and chellellu. He was the demigod to the people of AP â€¦indeed he is! Yes, the charisma of Annagaru faded out at least, instead it is mounting up to present him as The Golden Andhraite.