Thirteen years after his death, legendary NT Rama Rao continues to cast his shadow on the electoral politics of Andhra Pradesh. Call it a miracle or something else, the man who ruled the films and the politics like a demigod is all set to walk alive once again on the stage.
No, the thespian is not returning from heavens, but this time it is his grand son with striking similarities in the looks, name and the style - the popular young film star Junior NTR, who will bring back his grandfather back to life on the political stage.
Clad in Khaki dress and riding a brand new 'Chaitanya Ratham', NTR Junior will be every bit reminiscent of his grandfather to legions of his fans when he starts his state-wide election road show from Itchapuram in Srikakulam on Thursday.
The choice of both the Khaki dress and Chaitanya Ratham was deliberate as these were the two hall marks of NTR when he launched his campaign in 1982 in his own unique style and struck an unprecedented rapport with the masses.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, NTR Junior has also got a fully decked up shining Chaitanya Ratham with huge photographs of himself and his grandfather plastered all around. In his own words, he is setting on a mission to bring the Telugu Desam back to power and to restore "Rama Rajyam" of his grand father.
Before setting on the 40 day long marathon tour which will take him to interiors of coastal Andhra and Telangana region in two phases, NTR Junior visited his "mama" (uncle) and TDP President Chandrababu Naidu not only to show his election rath but also to take a briefing on what to speak in the road shows.
Like keeping the story of a suspenseful blockbuster under the wraps till the film is released, NTR Junior refused to open his mouth before the media about his political thinking and what exactly he is going to tell the masses. "I will make my political debut only in Itchapuram," he said.
But informed sources in the family and the TDP say that NTR Junior is determined to surprise everybody. "He not only looks like NTR in his physical features and on the film screen but he also want to sound like NTR when he delivers his speech", said a member of his team. "He has been practicing very hard for the last one month to polish his oratorical skills and improve his speech delivery".
The TDP hopes that brining NTR back to life through NTR Junior, it will be not only be able to put a new life in the party's rank and file but also regain the affection of the rural masses.
However, the biggest challenge before Chandrababu Naidu today is to undo the possible harm caused by the emergence of film star Chiranjeevi as a new political threat. It was with this target in mind, that Naidu had persuaded all the film stars in NTR family, including N Balakrishna, Harikrishna, Taraka Ratna and Kalyan Ram to join forces to bring TDP back to power and ensure the supremacy of NTR family in family and politics.