Chiranjeevi’s supposed stronghold areas and potential vote banks – East and West Godavari – broke into spontaneous celebrations late on Saturday and early Sunday as locals “rejoiced’’ over the news of the superstar’s defeat. Even Prajarajyam party workers were seen distributing sweets when the news of Allu Aravind’s Anakapalli defeat flashed on TV screens.
“We are very happy. These fellows (Chiranjeevi and Allu Aravind) were selling tickets in their first electionitself, even before they came to power. They would have looted the state had they won,’’ a resident of East Godavari told TOI. Party workers and residents of the twin districts, from where PRP won just one seat, were at their vitriolic best on Saturday as they now possibly knew there was no point in being politically correct anymore. “We wanted to see Chiranjeevi as the chief minister. But, now we have given up the hope in disgust,’’ said a PRP leader in Kakinada. He further said, “Parties become polluted and leaders become corrupt only after a few years intopolitics. But in PRP, the rot set in right from the beginning.’’ Another PRP leader said that Chiranjeevi and his family did not trust anyone except Aravind. “That has resulted in this disaster. They did not take the opinion of the cadre at any level,’’ he said.
Party workers said tickets were given to “worthless candidates,” ignoring the lists given by the cadre. The biggest complaint among the cadre is that Allu Aravind stood as a wall between them and Chiranjeevi and this, they say, was the main reason why the party was swept out. “Allu Aravind deserved to be defeated. Not only did he mislead Chiranjeevi on important issues, he alienated many leaders and forced them to leave the party,’’ said a party leader blaming Aravind for selling party tickets, unmindful of the candidates’ credentials, character and capacity.
The party cadre had apparently advised Chiranjeevi to contest from Narasapuram constituency but he chose Palakollu. “It is a good example of how blind the party leadership was to the aspirations of the party cadre,’’ another PRP leader said.
While some Chiru fans here said that even the single seat won by PRP should have been lost, a few remained loyal saying that the celebrations in the two districts were inappropriate. “We cannot see him being insulted by party workers,’’ said a Chiranjeevi Yuvatha district leader in West Godavari. But such sentiments were rare.
Clearly, Chiranjeevi has lost a lot more than just an election. Respect and fans could just be added to the list of his losses.