Actor and Telugu Desam star campaigner Junior NTR said he did not have any personal political aspirations and only wanted to support the party his grandfather founded.
Junior NTR, who was laid up after a road mishap, was discharged from the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences in the early hours of Saturday.
He told this newspaper in an exclusive interview that he wanted to get back into campaign, but doctors had advised him to take rest for four weeks. Though he was campaigning for the TD, he said he considered the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, a great leader and Praja Rajyam chief Chiranjeevi a great actor.
Exclusive Jr Ntr LIve Interview:
How is your health now?
I am recovering fast. Now that I am back home, I am feeling much better.
The TD and other Mahakutami leaders are eagerly waiting for your return. Will you be campaigning again?
It is not only the TD and Mahakutami. I too am looking to strike back, but I don’t think I will do it directly, because doctors want me to rest.
There is a talk that in case you are unable to campaign, your audio video recordings will be broadcast. Is it true?
Well… we are actually planning many things but haven’t decided on anything concrete yet.
Your campaign has evoked mixed reactions in the NTR family. While Naidu, Balakrishna and other family members sought your support, your aunt and Congress LS candidate, Daggubati Purandareswari, said you should not have been exposed so much.
I have a great respect for my aunt and the same for my uncles. It is just how each individual wants to see it. Film acting is my career and campaigning for the TD is my responsibility.
Among the NTR family stars, you are the most popular and have a large following. Does it create friction in family?
Why would it when everyone is happy with my success?
Will the huge turnout in your campaign ensure support for the Mahakutami?
Definitely. As a film star, this is not the first time I have attended a public meeting. I am experienced enough to know the difference between a public function and a political meeting. The responses for my political meetings was really captivating. And it will definitely turn out into a big support for Mahakutami.
Do you think people are seeking a change of government in AP?
By the response I got from the public, I am sure that people do seek a change in the government, because they have been through a lot of mess these five years. They have seen people losing lands, they have seen people losing lives… I am sure that people need a change. And the only choice is Mahakutami.
Do you want to emulate your grandfather NTR and become the Chief Minister one day?
Whatever I am today it is because of my grandfather’s blessings and my hard work. And I am here to fulfil my responsibility serving the party that he has founded. Apart from that, I do not have any personal aspirations to plunge into direct politics.
Did you ever feel that the TD should have gone it alone instead of joining hands with the Left and the TRS?
I am not a political analyst. But I think the decision to join hands with the Left parties and the TRS is a right move. It is just like combining all our strengths to defeat one big enemy. And when different forces unite, it is obvious that you will have petty problems. But they can be solved over a cup of coffee.
Do you endorse freebies like the cash transfer scheme, free power to farmers, free colour TVs and the like?
I foresee a great economic transformation through the cash transfer scheme. It will help the poorer sections to fight recession. And free colour TV will empower the rural masses through education and entertainment.
Are your family issues settled?
Were there any issues to be settled? I am happy with my family.
What’s your opinion about the Chief Minister and Chiranjeevi?
Dr Rajasekhar Reddy is a great leader in his own way. And Chiranjeevi is a great actor.
How’s your relationship with Chiranjeevi after your campaign in elections? What did he say when he called on you.
We all carry a sense of decency and decorum in keeping profession and politics separate. At a personal level, I do respect Chiranjeevi garu as an actor.
Were you driving the car when the road accident occurred?
I was not driving the car. Since it was a sharp curve, the vehicle couldn’t control itself. I heard that more than 400 accidents took place in the same area.
How many films of yours are on the floor?
I do one film at a time and don’t want to rush. Right now, I am doing a film with Mr V.V. Vinayak which is going to be my next release.
AP 2009 Election Live Results