27 Oct : After virtually putting it in cold storage for over four years, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday announced the prestigious NTR National Awards for the years 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
While Yesteryear’s superstar of Telugu cinema Krishna has been chosen for the NTR National Award for 2003, ace music director maestro Ilayaraja will be given the award for 2004.Popular Kannada film star-turned-politician Ambareesh bagged it for 2005 and the veteran Bollywood actress Waheeda Rehman will receive the award for 2006, State Information Minister A Ramanarayana Reddy said.
Instituted after the legendary Telugu film star-turned -politician N T Rama Rao, the award carries a cash of Rs five lakh besides a citation.Soon after coming to power, the Congress government led by Y S Rajasekhara Reddy stopped presenting the NTR National Award instituted by the previous TDP government.
This led to a major controversy as the TDP threatened to present the award on behalf of the party if the State government failed to do so.But this being the election year, the Congress government revised the award and selected the four eminent film personalities for the honour.
Meanwhile, State government also announced the prestigious Raghupathi Venkaiah Award, the Telugu equivalent of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award.Noted poet-producer-director M S Reddy has been chosen for the award for 2005 and top producer D Ramanaidu has bagged it for 2006.
The award carries a reward of Rs 50,000 and a golden ‘Nandi’.Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy will present the awards at a function here on November eight.