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Amid Andhra politics reconfiguration, signs of a thaw in Chandrababu Naidu-Purandeswari ties

With the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) returning to power for a third term and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) emerging as a key pillar of the ruling coalition, there are signs of a thaw in the relationship between TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and Andhra Pradesh BJP president Dr Daggubati Purandeswari who is also Naidu’s sister-in-law.

Purandeswari, 65, has held Naidu’s 1995 coup responsible for the downfall of her father and TDP founder N T Rama Rao and has always kept away from him. But on June 5, a day after the NDA’s landslide win in Andhra Pradesh, Naidu thanked Purandeswari for her support. At the NDA meeting in New Delhi too, Naidu acknowledged Purandeswari’s role in the state elections and thanked her again.

“Political allegiances may be different but there are strong family ties. While Purandeswari is Chandrababu’s sister-in-law, her brother N Balakrishna is a TDP MLA from Hindupur and is very close to Naidu. They are all getting back together,” said a TDP leader.

Andhra BJP co-in-charge Sunil Deodhar said, “BJP and Purandeswari helped the alliance to win the election. Naidu is rightly acknowledging it.”

While Purandeswari’s husband Daggubati Venkateshwara Rao, a former five-time TDP MLA, sided with Naidu in the 1995 coup, Purandeswarikept away from it. The episode split NTR’s family. While most of NTR’s sons and daughters sided with Naidu, they too maintained a distance.

Purandeswari joined the Congress in 2000 and avoided too much presence in state politics, not contesting Assembly elections. The two times she was elected MP, in 2004 and 2009 from Bapatla and Visakhapatnam respectively, Punrandeswari fought against TDP candidates. But once elected, kept to herself as she was in the Union Cabinet and

Read more on indianexpress.com