University name change: Did Balayya target Jr NTR?

The name change of NTR health university as Dr YSR health university continues to create ripples in the Andhra Pradesh politics, as Telugu Desam Party leaders have been issuing statements even after three days.

The family of TDP founder and former chief minister N T Rama Rao issued a statement condemning the decision and his younger son and TDP legislator Nandamuri Balakrishna also issued a separate statement on the development.

But on Saturday, Balakrishna came out with a hard-hitting comment on his social media platform Twitter.

“NTR is just not a name, to change or remove from an institution. The term “NTR” represents a culture and a civilisation. It is the backbone of the Telugu race,” he asserted.

Balakrishna went on to criticise: “Father (YSR) had come to power and changed the name of the airport; and son (read: Jagan), who ascended the throne, has changed the name of the university. But be careful. There are people and five natural elements (pancha bhootalu) who are going to change you altogether.”

He did not stop with that but targeted those who had “surrendered” before the powers.

“There are leaders who have been surviving with the life given by that great man. And there are some crabs, who do not have any faith towards him. Even dogs known for their faith are ashamed of such people. They are shameless people who have bowed their heads before dogs for survival,” he tweeted.

While it was obvious that Balakrishna had attacked the YSRCP leaders in general and Jagan Mohan Reddy in particular in the initial sentences, the second half of his tweet has evoked a little curiosity as to whom he was targeting.

Maybe, Balakrishna was referring to YSRC leaders like Kodali Nani and Vallabhaneni Vamsi, who always claim to be die-hard fans of NTR and his son Nandamuri Harikrishna. 

There also appears to be hidden reference to NTR’s second wife Nandamuri Lakshmi Parvathi, who is presently in YSRC and enjoying the position of AP Telugu, Sanskrit Academy. So far, she has not uttered a single word against the decision to rename NTR health university as YSR health university.

Analysts say Balakrishna might also be targeting his nephew and Tollywood hero Jr NTR, who refrained from making any harsh criticism against Jagan for taking such a crucial decision but made a too diplomatic statement, equating YSR and NTR in name, fame, popularity and respect.

“The words “shameless lives who have bowed their heads before dogs,” are indirectly aimed at Jr NTR. In any case, Jagan’s decision has also created tremors within NTR family,” an analyst observed.

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