Chiranjeevi’s support to TDP-JSP-BJP draws ire | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Chiranjeevi’s support to TDP-JSP-BJP draws ire

By, Hyderabad
Apr 23, 2024 08:54 AM IST

A video statement released by popular Tollywood hero and former Union minister Konidela Chiranjeevi on Sunday welcoming the alliance among the TDP, JanaSena Party and the BJP for the upcoming elections in Andhra Pradesh, has created ripples in the state politics

A video statement released by popular Tollywood hero and former Union minister Konidela Chiranjeevi on Sunday welcoming the alliance among the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), JanaSena Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the upcoming elections in Andhra Pradesh, has created ripples in the state politics.

Tollywood megastar Chiranjeevi recently released a video statement on TDP, JanaSena and BJP alliance in Andhra Pradesh. (PTI)
Tollywood megastar Chiranjeevi recently released a video statement on TDP, JanaSena and BJP alliance in Andhra Pradesh. (PTI)

Flanked by JanaSena Party candidate from Pendurthi assembly constituency Panchakarla Ramesh Babu and BJP candidate for Anakapalli Lok Sabha constituency CM Ramesh on either side, Chiranjeevi, popularly known as megastar, appealed to the people to vote for the right and upright candidates for the overall development of the state.

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“It has been several years since I talked about politics. The main reason for speaking on state politics now after a gap of so many years is my younger brother and JanaSena Party president Pawan Kalyan,” he began his video message.

Chiranjeevi went on to say that it was a good development that Pawan Kalyan, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu and the BJP leadership have come together to form an alliance.

“Another reason for me to come before you now is that my close friend CM Ramesh and another leader close to me, Panchakarla Ramesh are contesting the elections. They are good and efficient and I strongly believe they will continue to work for the development of the Anakapalli,” he said.

The megastar pointed out that CM Ramesh had a good relationship with the Centre, and his election to Lok Sabha would help more for the development of both the Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies. “I believe that they will show the results and I request you to vote for them. I have a strong desire that Andhra Pradesh should be developed and I appeal to you all to help in this respect. I urge the people to elect good leaders by casting their vote and help the state develop faster.”

Chiranjeevi, in fact, did not make an open appeal to the people of Andhra Pradesh to vote the NDA allies to power or defeat the YSR Congress party. He was specifically referring to the two candidates sitting beside him – Panchakarla Ramesh and CM Ramesh and made a general statement to elect good leaders like them for the all-round development of Andhra Pradesh.

Yet, his statement welcoming the alliance among the TDP, JanaSena Party and the BJP sent a message to his fans and the people that he is supporting the NDA.

Obviously, it evoked a strong reaction from the ruling YSRCP. “We don’t care whether it is Chiranjeevi or any other person extending support to the TDP and its allies. These jackals and wolves are forming a pack against YSRCP president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is fighting a lone battle like a lion. It doesn’t affect him at all,” YSRCP general secretary Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy told reporters soon after Chiranjeevi made a statement.

He said there was no big surprise in Chiranjeevi backing the NDA. “He has already announced his support to his brother Pawan Kalyan. His statement now is a clear indication that all the opposition parties have ganged up to take on Jagan, as they cannot defeat him individually,” Reddy said.

It was only on April 8 that Chiranjeevi donated 5 crore to JanaSena Party and wished his younger brother all the success in the elections. “I was touched by the gestures of Pawan Kalyan, who has been spending his hard-earned money for the welfare of the society, at a time when leaders make promises that they would help the people if they are voted to power. I appreciate the selfless service of my brother; hence, I have decided to donate 5 crore to his party,” he said.

Chiranjeevi, who entered politics by floating Praja Rajyam Party in August 2008, did not get much success in the 2009 general elections – his party got only 17 assembly seats and zero Lok Sabha seats.

In February 2011, he merged his Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress. In 2012, he was nominated to Rajya Sabha and inducted into the Manmohan Singh cabinet as Union minister of state (independent charge) for tourism.

However, after the Congress faced a humiliating defeat both at the Centre and the southern state, post bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Chiranjeevi quietly withdrew from active politics and returned to film industry, where he started delivering big hits again.

The megastar continued as the Rajya Sabha member till 2018, but he did not take active part in the Congress activities and has been focussing only on films. Even after his younger brother Pawan Kalyan, who once played a key role in Praja Rajyam Party, floated his own outfit Jana Sena Party in 2014, Chiranjeevi did not extend his support to him.

In the last five years, Chiranjeevi, in fact, maintained friendly relations with YSRCP leaders. In January 2022, he came down to Vijayawada along with his wife to make a courtesy call on Jagan Mohan Reddy, who hosted him for lunch. The megastar was all praise for Jagan and his leadership then.

Subsequently, Chiranjeevi had led a delegation of the Telugu film industry heroes, including Nagarjuna and Mahesh Babu, to discuss the issues confronting Tollywood, like increase in theatre rates and incentives for shooting.

So, his open support to the NDA candidates created a speculation as to whether he would return to active politics again. According to political analyst Mallu Rajesh, Chiranjeevi’s decision to support the NDA would hardly make any difference on the election prospects now.

“The Kapu community and the fans of Chiranjeevi family are already backing his brother Pawan Kalyan; so, there is no additional benefit to the Jana Sena. Only if Chiranjeevi enters the election campaign directly, it may fetch additional advantage to the TDP or BJP,” Rajesh added.

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