Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi is caught in a controversy after he attended an inter-caste wedding that triggered objections from the bride's family.
The occasion was the marriage of noted Dalit activist-writer K Padma Rao's son Chetan with Nalini, a 24- year-old engineer belonging to an upper caste.
The matinee idol attended the wedding, held at Film Nagar Club here on Saturday last, and blessed the couple. He also spoke spiritedly about the virtues of inter-caste marriage and the need for creating a casteless society.
The event came in the backdrop of a turmoil on Chiranjeevi's home front with the elopement of his teenaged daughter with her lover last year after he reportedly disapproved of their marriage.
The film star's presence at the Dalit boy's wedding led to a bitter row with the bride's parents who alleged their daughter was forced into the wedlock and kept in confinement by the family of the Dalit writer and with the "active support of the actor".
Incidentally, Padma Rao had recently joined Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam party whose main plank is social justice.
Accusing the actor of staging a drama only to gain political mileage for his newly launched party, Nalini's parents T Subba Rao and T Mani pointed out how Chiranjeevi himself had disapproved of his teenage daughter's proposal to marry her lover outside the caste.
They went to a local television channel with their version of the story and made allegations against the actor and the Dalit writer.