Balaiah's reputation at stake
Anantapur: The by-poll of Anantapur urban constituency has become an acid test for actor Nandamuri Balakrishna, as he exerted pressure on his brother-in-law and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu to allot the seat to Mahalakshmi Srinivas.
Naidu in turn, has kept the responsibility of winning the seat on Balakrishna, it is learnt.
It may be recalled that Balakrishna has a huge fan base in the Rayalseema region, especially in Anantapur. His films have become massive hits. People used to make a beeline to the cinema halls where his films were being screened from villages on bullock carts.
Some hardcore fans even used to sacrifice sheep during the release of his new pictures. Such was the impact of Balakrishna in the region. Similarly, even his flop films had run 100 days in the town.
Though Mahalakshmi Srinivas belongs to the Balija community, a survey that was carried out indicated that the former municipal chairman V Prabhakar Chowdhary has an edge over him.
Therefore, Naidu tilted towards Chowdhary. However, due to pressure from his brother-in-law Balakrishna, the ticket was allotted to Srinivas.
Obviously, the onus lies on Balakrishna to take charge and see that his nominee emerges victorious. It may be noted that the TDP has given importance to the Balija community in allocating tickets in eight assembly constituencies where the by-elections are scheduled.
Earlier, it was speculated that Anantapur urban seat would be allocated to a Kamma candidate. However, the allotment of the seat to the Balija community angered the fans belonging to a particular community.
Similarly, there were intra-party squabbles and lack of leadership in Anantapur. The TDP had won the seat only in 1983 and 1985 and CPI in 1994.
It may be noted that the family of Gurnath Reddy, who is sailing with YSR Congress Party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy, has been winning the seat for a long time. So, it's an uphill task for Balaiah to ensure the victory of his candidate.
News Posted: 30 April, 2012
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