Hyderabad, May 28: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Thursday urged the central government to confer the country's highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, on its founder and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N T Rama Rao.
TDP, a partner in National Democratic Alliance central government, passed a resolution on the second day of its 'Mahanadu' or the annual conclave at Gandipet on the outskirts of Hyderabad to demand the highest civilian award for the actor-turned-politician. The resolution was moved by TDP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Moving the resolution on the birth anniversary of the late leader, he said NTR created history in Indian politics and served the people by launching many innovative schemes.
"It is the desire of not just Telugu people but all Indians to give Bharat Ratna to N T Rama Rao who is like a god to the Telugu people....We will make untiring efforts till NT Rama Rao gets Bharat Ratna," Naidu said.
"NTR's name will remain forever in the history of Telugu people," said Naidu, who is the son-in-law of NTR.
The late leader enjoyed unparalleled popularity both in the film world and in the politics, he said.
Naidu also announced revival of sari-dhoti scheme, launched by NTR for the poor. He earmarked Rs.400 crore for the scheme which will promote usage of handloom fabrics and thus help handloom weavers improve their earnings.
Earlier, Naidu, his wife Bhuvaneswari, son Lokesh and other family members visited NTR Ghat on the banks of Hussain Sagar lake to pay tributes to the late leader.
NTR's actor sons and TDP leaders N. Harikrishna and N. Balakrishna, grandson and popular actor Junior NTR, daughter and former union minister D. Purandeswari and other family members also paid tributes.
NTR, a popular Telugu actor, had launched the TDP in 1982 on the slogan of Telugu self-respect and created record of sorts by coming to power within nine months, ending the single party rule of Congress in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.
He died in January 1996, a few months after Naidu led a revolt in the party and became the chief minister.
Rama Rao, born on this day in 1923, created history by storming to power in undivided Andhra Pradesh in just nine months after forming his party in 1982. One of the founding fathers of the Telugu film industry, he also played a key role in the formation of National Front which catapulted V P Singh to the post of Prime Minister.
(With inputs from agencies)