Nandamuri Balakrishna, one of the top Telugu actors, is set to contest this Assembly election from the Hindupur constituency in Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh. He is the son of late legendary actor and the state's former chief minister NT Rama Rao (NTR). NTR was the founder of Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
Balakrishna is said to have held elaborate discussions with TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu on whether the actor should campaign on behalf of the party in AP or contest the Assembly election. It is understood that Naidu favoured Balakrishna contesting the election.
With this, Balakrishna, or Balaiah as fondly called by his fans, is entering active politics in AP. The Hindupur constituency was represented by NTR. Balakrishna is likely to file his nomination for the seat on 16 April, according to media reports.
Upbeat with the success of his latest blockbuster "Legend", Balakrishna was on a pilgrimage in the state and his fans were expecting a statement from him about his entry into politics. The fans and TDP supporters were enthusiastic about the constituency from where he is going to contest the election.
Balakrishna visited Naidu's house in Hyderabad on 12 April to decide the Assembly constituency for him. Hindupur sitting MLA Abdhul Ghani and other leaders present there welcomed him and insisted him to contest the election from the constituency.
When the actor announced that he is going to contest the Assembly election from Hindupur, his fans cheered him by raising slogans such as "Jai Balakrishna". JC Diwakar Reddy, a prominent leader from Anantapur district who joined TDP from Congress, Errabellin Dayakar Rao, Thalasani Srinivasa Yadav Kodela Shivaprasad, CM Ramesh and others greeted the actor.
Naidu is Balakrishna's brother-in-law. Former union minister and BJP leader Daggubati Purandeswari is his sister. Balakrishna's elder brother Harikrishna, a former transport minister of AP, is also set to contest from a seat in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Balakrishna has stated that he will continue his acting career even after entering active politics.