Akkineni Tokkineni comments: Balakrishna clarifies but ignites fresh controversy

Balakrishna, who landed himself in a controversy with his ‘Akkineni Tokkineni’ comments, sought to douse the fire in an apparent damage-control measure


HYDERABAD: Proving his eccentricity one more time, Tollywood actor and TDP’s Hindupur MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna on Thursday sought to clear the air on his ‘Akkineni Tokkineni’ comments but within seconds, ended up courting yet another controversy.

Speaking to the media, the maverick senior actor initially sought to douse the fire in an apparent damage-control measure. Balakrishna said that he did not intentionally insult Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR). Stopping short of admitting to a slip of the tongue, he said that the utterances came out, off the cuff and that they were blown out of proportion.

“I used to refer to ANR as my uncle (babai) and have huge respect for him in my heart. In fact, ANR loved me more than his children. I do not care if some words were taken out of context and were propagated against me. I always believe that NTR and ANR were two pillars of the Telugu film industry,” said the actor.

He sounded quite thoughtful until the time he spoke of his high respect for ANR but suddenly went berserk as the loose cannon in him came out to the fore and landed him in a fresh controversy. While saying that ANR always treated him affectionately, he said, “there was no affection there but it is here (in my heart),” he said while pointing to his chest.

The Akkineni family and fans, who were already riled by Balakrishna’s barbs, are only likely to be incensed by this latest quip which is certain to rub salt on the wound for them. Balakrishna was obviously insinuating that the senior Akkineni did not enjoy the affection of his own family.

Balakrishna was immediately trolled on social media platforms for not having control over his language. Some of them even called out the actor for his hypocrisy, questioning as to why the Nandamuri family did not extend the same courtesy to senior NTR in his twilight. “Had he received affection from his children, N T Rama Rao would have lived on for a few more years,” they commented.

It remains to be seen how the Akkineni scions will react to this fresh taunt from the Nandamuri actor.

The controversy began when Balakrishna, during a recent event in connection with his latest release, Veera Simha Reddy, shocked everyone by referring to Akkineni Nageswara Rao as ‘Akkineni Tokkineni’.

Naga Chaitanya and Akhil, grandsons of ANR, took to social media to condemn the disrespectful comments. Netizens were also quick to react as they criticised the actor for such degrading comments.

Meanwhile, the grandchildren of legendary Telugu actor S V Ranga Rao, who also figured in Balakrishna’s banter, refused to be drawn into the controversy. Reacting on the issue, they said that they did not see any controversy in the first place in Balakrishna’s comments and requested the media and social media users not to drag it further.

They also affirmed their close association with Balakrishna in particular and the Nandamuri family in general.

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