TDP founder NTR’s son and actor-politician Nandamuri Harikrishna died in a road accident in Telangana’s Nalgonda district early on Wednesday, doctors said. He was 61.
Harikrishna, a former Rajya Sabha member and a former Andhra Pradesh minister, sustained critical head injuries when the car in which he was travelling along with two others overturned near Anneparthi.
The vehicle, being driven by Harikrishna, hit the divider while overtaking a vehicle and collided with another vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
He was shifted to Kamineni Hospital at Narketpally, where he succumbed. Two others accompanying him were injured.
Harikrishna, son of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao, was on his way to Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh to attend a marriage.
He was a member of the TDP politburo and brother-in-law of TDP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
He is survived by two wives Lakshmi and Shalini, two sons Junior NTR and Kalyan Ram, both actors, and daughter Suhasini.
His eldest son Janki Ram was also killed in road accident in 2014 in the same district. In 2009, Junior NTR had escaped with injuries in a road accident, also in Nalgonda district.
Born on September 2, 1956 at Nimmakur in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Harikrishna, fourth son of NTR, began his film career as a child artist in 1960s.
He debut in 1967 was in “Shri Krishnavataram” featuring his father NTR, who was the most popular actor of his times.
“Talla Pellamma” (1970), “Tatamma Kala” (1974), “Ram Raheem” (1974), “Daana Veera Shura Karna” (1977), “Sri Ramulayya” (1998) and “Seetharama Raju” (1999) were some of his other films.
Harikrishna was the ‘sarathi’ (charioteer) of NTR’s famous Chaitanya Ratham (chariot of awakening) in 1980s.
He had backed Naidu when the latter staged a revolt against NTR in 1995. Following the death of NTR in 1996, he was elected to Andhra Pradesh Assembly from Hindupur, a constituency represented by his legendary father.
He served as Minister for Transport in Naidu’s cabinet and was also the president of youth wing of the TDP.
In 1999, he quit TDP accusing Naidu of deviation from the ideals of NTR and formed a new party called Anna TDP, which failed to make a mark.
In 2006, he rejoined TDP and was elected to Rajya Sabha in 2008. Harkrishna, resigned from Rajya Sabha in 2013 in protest over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
Though he continued as TDP politburo member, Harikrishna had openly expressed his displeasure over Naidu promoting his son Nara Lokesh as his successor.
He was reportedly keen to see his son Junior NTR, a popular actor, taking reins of the party founded by NTR in 1982.