Mixed bag for film stars in Andhra Pradesh
It was a mixed bag for film personalities in the simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Telangana and Seemandhra.
Like many Congress heavyweights, the glamour faces of the party were defeated in Telangana. Popular actress Vijayashanti was defeated in Medak assembly constituency while another famous actress, Jayasudha, could not retain Secunderabad assembly seat.
Popularly known as 'Lady Amitabh' for her action roles in many Telugu films, Vijayashanti quit the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and joined the Congress on the eve of the elections.
In 2009, the veteran actress was elected to the Lok Sabha from Medak. Last year, she was suspended from the TRS for anti-party activities. TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao wanted to contest from the Medak Lok Sabha constituency, but she asserted no power on earth could stop her from seeking re-election from the same seat.
When the Congress decided to carve out separate Telangana state, she joined the party in the presence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. As TRS chief opted to contest from Medak for the Lok Sabha, she preferred the assembly segment. However, TRS candidate Padma Devender Reddy defeated her by 40,000 votes.
The 49-year-old actress, who acted in nearly 190 film in a three-decade-long career, had joined the BJP in 1997. She quit the party in 2005 to float a separate outfit Talli Telangana to fight for statehood for Telangana, but later merged the outfit with the TRS.
Jayasudha, who was elected to the assembly from Secunderabad on the Congress ticket in 2004 and 2009, suffered defeat this time. The 55-year-old, who acted in over 200 films, finished a poor third.
Comedy actor Babu Mohan, who quit Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to join the TRS just before the elections, was elected to the assembly from Andole in Medak district. He defeated former deputy chief minister Damodar Rajanarasimha of the Congress.
Babu Mohan was twice elected to the Andhra Pradesh assembly from the same constituency on a TDP ticket. He also served as a minister in Chandrababu Naidu's cabinet 1999-2004. The actor, however, lost the 2004 and 2009 elections.
In Seemandhra, popular actor N. Balakrishna made his assembly debut. He was elected from Hindupur, a constituency once represented by his father and legendary actor N.T. Rama Rao, who founded the TDP.
Balakrishna is brother-in-law of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu. His daughter is also married to Naidu's son Lokesh.
Veteran actor Murali Mohan of the TDP was elected to the Lok Sabha from Rajahmundry. The 73-year-old actor-producer lost the election from the same constituency in 2009.
Finally, there was a smile on the face of actress R.K. Roja as she was elected to the assembly after two unsuccessful attempts. She romped home from Nagari constituency in Chittoor district on a YSR Congress ticket.
The 42-year-old lost the 2004 and 2009 elections on the TDP ticket. Roja, who acted in many Telugu and Tamil films, began her political career with the TDP. She was heading the women's wing of the party. After the defeat in 2009, she quit the party and later joined the YSR Congress.
However, Roja was disappointed as her party failed to come to power in Seemandhra.
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Posted on 17-05-2014)