KAKINADA: Many movie stars have entered politics and won elections with huge majorities. But only a few of them have left their mark on their constituencies. Film actor and politician Sri Uppalapati Venkata Krishnam Raju was one of those privileged few.
First, he was elected from Kakinada Lok Sabha constituency with the third highest majority recorded in the 1998 Lok Sabha elections. He was the BJP candidate. As MP for Kakinada, he has done a great service to the people of the port city. He took the first step towards placing Kakinada on the main railway line by linking it to Pithapuram.
This was a long-standing request since independence. For the first time, the project was mentioned in the railway budget when Krishnam Raju was MP for Kakinada and a token allocation of `1 lakh was made for it in the budget. Even now, the promise has not been kept, however. However, the people of Kakinada appreciated the work done by Krishnam Raju vis-à-vis various projects for the region.
In the 1999 general election, he was again elected to the Lok Sabha, this time from Narsapur in West Godavari district. He made his mark in the riding. Under the Grameena Sadak Yojana started by the Vajpayee government, he secured sanctioned funds for road construction in several villages in the constituency. Almost in every constituency there is a plaque with his name on it.
Through his efforts, road connectivity has improved significantly in Narsapur constituency. More than 400 crore has been spent on this, noted Dasari Prasada, a BJP leader.
Late Lok Sabha chairman GMC Balayogi had said that “Krishnam Raju is not like other movie stars in politics. They just lend a touch of vaporous glamor to politics. They don’t mean business. Krishnam Raju is down to earth and he works like a professional politician to get things done for the people. He acts without self-interest. I was inspired by him.”
Krishnam Raju contested the Narsapuram constituency twice – in the 1989 and 1994 general elections on behalf of the Congress party and he was defeated. He joined the Praja Rajyam party started by film actor Chiranjeevi and contested in Rajamahendravaram Lok Sabha constituency, but was defeated.