When the election schedule was announced, NTR and his men were at Nirmal (then in Adilabad district, now a separate district). The Chaitanya Ratham immediately changed its route and headed towards Hyderabad. The selection of party candidates is a very important process requiring an elaborate exercise in any election.
The list was prepared at NTR’s Abids residence. Upendra, Shekhar and Satyanarayana used to compare notes and prepare a list of candidates after interviews and submit the list to NTR, whose decision was supposed to be final. Ramoji Rao, the owner of Eenadu, got the party manifesto prepared by experts and printed in his own press. Publicity material and pamphlets were also printed at his facility. NTR used to consult the media baron on almost every issue. Ramoji Rao divided the state into four zones and appointed supervisors to conduct a methodical survey to prepare a list of candidates who had good chances of winning.
One day, Ramoji Rao feigning innocence, casually asked NTR what was being done to shortlist suitable candidates. NTR said three of his trusted men (Upendra, Shekhar and Satyanarayana) were in charge. Unimpressed, Ramoji Rao said: “How can Shekhar and Satyanarayana, who mingle with the people for half an hour, and…