Actor and Telugu Desam Party leader Nandamuri Harikrishna, the fourth son of N T Rama Rao and brother-in-law of Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, died in a road accident today near Nalgonda on NH 65.
Harikrishna, 61, was driving a Toyota Fortuner and was going to Kavali in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh to attend a fan’s wedding. However, the SUV hit a road median on the Nalgonda highway near Anaparthi and flipped over several times. Police officials said that it appeared that Harikrishna, who allegedly not wearing a seat belt, was thrown out of the vehicle on to the road and received serious head injuries. Passersby and cops tried to revive him before rushing him to Kamineni hospital at Narketpally where he was declared dead at 7.30. His family members said that he had left home in Banjara Hills in Hyderabad at 4.30 am and he always prefers to drive on his own.
In December 2014, Harikrishna’s eldest son N Janakiram, a Telugu film producer, met with a fatal accident at Akupamula village not far from where Harikrishna met with the accident today morning. Harikrishna is survived by wife, sons Kalyan Ram and NTR Junior and daughter Suhasini. In March 2009, Harikrishna’s son NTR Junior also met with an accident near Suryapet while returning from campaigning for the TDP. He escaped with minor injuries.
Today morning, Harikrishna had left home at 4:30 and was scheduled to reach Kavali by 8:30 am. After attending the fan’s wedding, Harikrishna was supposed to drive 300 kms to Allagadda in Kurnool district to attend the wedding of AP Tourism Minister B Akhila Priya Reddy.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who is Harikrishna’s brother-in-law expressed shock and grief.
Harikrishna acted in 15 films in a career spanning over 50 years. Laahiri Laahiri Laahirilo (2002) and Seetaya (2003) happen to be his biggest hits.
A senior member of the Telugu Desam Party, Harikrishna was elected to the Rajya Sabha in May 2008. In 1995, when Chandrababu Naidu staged a coup and took over the reins of the TDP from his father-in-law and TDP founder N T Rama Rao, Harikrishna sided with Naidu and supported him. He was president of TDP youth wing Telugu Yuvatha.
In 1996 Assembly polls, he won from Hindupur and was Minister (Road Transport) in Naidu’s Cabinet. But in 1999, Harikrishna fell out with Naidu accusing him of diluting NTR ideals and corruption, resigned from the party and floated the Anna Telugu Desam Party. In the 1999 assembly and Lok Sabha elections, Harikrishna’s Anna Telugu Desam Party contested 191 Assembly and 42 Lok Sabha seats but did not win a single seat, and the party folded. Later, in 2006 he patched up with Chandrababu Naidu and rejoined the TDP.
Apart from his family members, hundreds of admirers and fans thronged to Harikrishna’s residence after hearing the news. TDP leaders, several MLAs and ministers are rushing from Amaravati to Hyderabad.