Hindupur was once represented by the Telugu Desam Party Founder (TDP) Late NT Rama Rao and later for a term by his elder son Nandamuri Harikrishna.
Cashing in on this popularity, N Chandrababu Naidu fielded his brother-in-law and actor Nandamuri Balakrishna from the same place in 2014. Winning with a majority, Balakrishna’s first step into politics was a huge success.
But Balakrishna's popularity has faded over the past 5 years. All thanks to his erratic and eccentric behaviour.
His slapping-abusing-kicking antics have now become legendary and there is a tale to tell whenever he steps foot outside Hyderabad, especially in Hindupur. The innocent locals still look up to his larger than life screen image and him being the son of their matinee idol late NTR.
With this connect they try to get close to him, irk his temper and then begins backlash after some bystander, fan, video journalist, TDP worker is slapped or in some cases kicked badly by the actor-turned-politician.
This has led to a lot of resentment in the local TDP cadre and reports say that in places like Lepakshi and Chilamathhur mandals, many important TDP leaders, including BC and other minority have left and joined the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in huge numbers.
The other factor is his presence in the Hindupur Assembly constituency. It is reported that he has visited the place around twenty times, his wife Vasundhara came just on the day of campaigning in 2014 and has completely disappeared.
She has come to campaign again in view of the upcoming elections. In all those twenty appearances, Balakrishna comes with a set agenda and route map. He quickly covers two to three mandals, inaugurates several government projects, Bhoomi pujas, road shows and completes his tour.
If any fan or resident comes to meet him, he pays no heed to their problems. The area is controlled by his PA and he has changed three of them till date, as they were calling the shots when he was not around.
Vexed with their corrupt attitude people gave up the thought of seeking his help. In 2016, he conducted the Praja Durbar and promised to conduct more such events. That was the end of it and the applications and petitions given by the people.
Looking at the growing popularity of the YSRCP, Ballayya as he is popularly known, has spent huge amount of money to gather public. People from Penugonda and Madakasira were paid money and forcibly called for the event. His campaign sessions are turning out to be damp squibs as there are no takers for his fiery ''filmi dialogues'' any more.
Sensing that defeat is on the cards, Balakrishna's frustration is mounting and further leading to his violent behaviour with whoever tries to get close to him. The joke, which is currently trending is that Balayya is more focussed on his wig not falling off his head, than the problems of Hindupur people, which is why he doesn't let anybody close to him.
This behaviour is a contradiction in terms of someone who has entered politics, is close to people and yet stays afar.
Also Read: Balakrishna’s Temper Keeps Him In The News