During his first term as MLA from Hindupur, Nandamuri Balakrishna was criticised for visiting his constituency very few times. This was one of the major talking points during the election campaign as well. Yet he won because Hindupur assembly constituency had elected his father NT Rama Rao in the 1980s and is still seen as a NTR family pocketborough.
But after the victory, little has changed. Barring a visit soon after he won the election, Balakrishna who is based in Hyderabad in Telangana, has been missing both from Hindupur and Amaravati, when the assembly was in session. People in this constituency in arid Anantapur district would like their MLA to be at hand to attend to their grievances and represent their issues in the Assembly. The hope always was a high-profile legislator would make it easier for issues to be resolved.
Instead Balakrishna has been shooting for NBK105, his untitled film in Thailand. All he has to offer his constituents and fans is his new look in the film. It is the first time Balakrishna is sporting a beard of this style. KS Ravikumar is directing the movie and has Vedika and Sonal Chauhan playing the female lead roles. Prakash Raj and Bhumika are the other actors.
Interestingly, Mohammed Iqbal, the YSRCP candidate who lost to Balakrishna has been made an MLC by Jaganmohan Reddy. This is the YSRCP way of telling the constituents of Hindupur that the man they did not elect, would look after their interests now. Iqbal who retired as IG of Andhra Pradesh police, used to the chief security officer when Chandrababu Naidu was CM between 1995 and 2000.