Jagan Mohan Reddy had earlier accused Parakala Prabhakar of being a mediator between the TDP and the BJP.

 

Parakala Prabhakar, husband of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who resigned from his post as the communication adviser to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, might stay away from the activities of the ruling TDP in this election year. Prabhakar till now was very active in the affairs of the TDP as well as the government.

Prabhakar has been associated with Naidu since the 2014 elections and he had fought hard for keeping Andhra Pradesh united. He led a non-political body, Vishalandhra, before joining the TDP and becoming the adviser to the CM. Earlier, he was with mega cine star Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party which bagged only 16 out of 295 Assembly seats in the state in 2009. He married Nirmala in 1986.

Prabhakar hails from a Congress family. His father Parkala Sheshavataram was a minister in the Cabinet of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao when he was the CM of combined AP in 1970s. Prabhakar’s mother, Kalikamba, too was a Congress MLA during the period. Prabhakar again worked for P.V. Narasimha Rao as media adviser when the latter became the PM in 1991. Fifty-nine-year-old Prabhakar, who holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics, has resigned from his post following criticism from opposition YSR Congress that he has been acting as a conduit between the TDP and the BJP, since his wife is a key Union minister. Prabhakar, in his resignation letter, said he didn’t want to cause embarrassment to CM Naidu.

Prabhakar, in his letter, attacked opposition leader Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for saying that Naidu had been using him as a mediator between the TDP and the BJP. Prabhakar asked Naidu to relieve him of his responsibilities and from the Cabinet rank, as he didn’t want to become a burden to the latter.

However, sources in the government and the party told this newspaper that Prabhakar was also pained over the comments from certain quarters within the ruling party over the relevance of his continuation in the adviser’s post, after Naidu left the NDA and blamed the PM for injustice done to Andhra on various counts.

Nirmala Sitharaman is a Rajya Sabha member from Andhra and she frequently visited the state till recently as TDP was part of the BJP led NDA. But, in the last three months, she barely visited the state and avoided any public meetings where she had to attack the ruling party. Though CM Naidu asked Prabhakar to continue as his political aide, it may not be possible for the latter to do it, a senior official in the AP CM’s office said. Naidu used to take Prabhakar along with him on foreign tours and used to introduce him as the husband of the Indian Defence Minister. Prabhakar also used to sit in the AP Cabinet meetings as he enjoyed a Cabinet rank.

Now, Prabhakar might distance himself from the TDP affairs for two reasons: First, he doesn’t want to play a political role against the BJP, and second, he doesn’t want to create suspicion among a section of TDP leaders that their strategies would be leaked to the BJP. “Prabhakar, on the whole, is embarrassed over the growing animosity between Naidu and the PM,” said the official.

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