Many former Naxals, including those accused of murder and extortion, are now trying to get Assembly tickets from Praja Rajyam, Telangana Rashtra Samiti and other parties. Aspirants include former Maoists and activists of Naxal groups such as Prajaprathighatana and Prajapantha. The Praja Rajyam has been actively wooing former Naxals in North Telangana and Palnadu area of Guntur to strengthen its base. Several former Naxals took part in meeting conducted on February 24 at LB Nagar by Chiranjeevi in which he promised to lift the ban on Maoists if he came to power. “Former Naxals have asked for at least 10 seats from Praja Rajyam,” said Mr S. Sambasivarao, who worked for Naxal frontal groups of Guntur district. One of them is Mr K. Seshagiri Rao alias Gopanna, a former Maoist leader who has come out of the TRS protesting the formation of Mahakutami. He is now demanding a ticket for Palakurthy constituency from Praja Rajyam for his wife, Mrs N. Manjula, who is also a former Maoist. The former Naxals claim that cases were booked against them on their aliases and not on their real names. This means that technically there are no cases against them. Mr Gopanna is facing trial in the case relating to a blast at Maredumilli in East Godavari where five CRPF jawans were killed in 2001. “There were five cases against me and I was acquitted in four,” said Mr Gopanna. “Technically there are no cases against my wife either.” In Manthani in Karimngar district, a former Maoist Bakka Rao alias Bakkanna is trying for a ticket from Praja Rajyam. Similarly, Mr Goverdhan, who was a member of Prathighatana, is trying for TRS ticket from Bhoopalapally constituency and Ms Seetakka, a former Naxal, wants to contest on TD ticket from Mulugu. Mr Suguna Rao, a former Maoist from Dachepally, is trying for Gurajala constituency and Mr Rayudu Nageswara Rao wants to contest for the PR from Kakinada-2 constituency.
It was to be a prestigious public meeting and a show of strength by the actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi of Praja Rajyam at a premier venue of the city. Alas! It is not to be as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) pipped him to the post.
Unknown to the PR, the BSP had secured Parade Grounds for a meeting to be addressed by its chief and U.P. Chief Minister Mayawati on March 23.
They booked the place by taking a temporary licence valid from March 20 to 24 through the Defence Estate Office sending PR activists into a tizzy on Tuesday.
Stunned PR leaders burnt telephone lines, and after frantic consultations, have now managed to secure the adjacent Bison Polo Grounds. Saving grace is that there is not much difference in size of both the grounds with the latter likely to be about 25 acres, slightly smaller than Parade Grounds, the usual venue for star politicians.
Mr. Chiranjeevi himself had announced a few days ago that the Secunderabad meeting scheduled for March 21 would showcase his party’s following among people.
It would be the third public meeting addressed by him after the maiden one at Tirupati and recent one at Rajahmundry.
But PR leaders forgot to secure the ground first by taking the temporary licence issued by the DEO here and blocking the meeting dates. The licence period could run into two to four days for the organisations concerned to make arrangements of stage, seating and related paraphernalia.
Interested parties should pay a licence fee of Rs. 1,250, Rs. 20,000 as security deposit and another sum of Rs. 10,000 as cleaning charges to restore the ground back to its original shape. BSP leaders who too were surprised had offered to “share” arrangements like the stage since Ms. Mayawati’s meeting was two days away but the PR wasn’t too keen.
Later in the day, the party managed to get the Polo Grounds from March 18 to 23, where NCC camps are held and which the Army authorities are usually reluctant to let out.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday assured that the Prajarajyam Party (PRP) would get preference in choosing a free symbol from those available for independent candidates in the state.The PRP, it can be recalled, is seeking ‘Rail Engine’ as a symbol for all its candidates and even launched a legal battle against certain provisions of the EC’s symbol order for achieving this.
The Election Commission has filed its counter affidavit in the AP High Court in which it made it clear that since PRP is a registered party and not a recognised party, its candidates would be given preference in selecting their symbol from the free symbols. This would adequately protect the rights and interests of PRP and its candidates, Harpreet Singh, additional chief electoral officer of the state, said in the affidavit.
The case of TRS getting a common symbol in 2004 was because of an order from the AP High Court to consider the results secured by that party in the local bodies elections and also by-elections, he said. Reminding that the HC itself made it clear in that order that the TRS case cannot be treated as a precedent in the matters of symbol allotments in future, the EC authority said that they are not bound by that order now to allot a common symbol to PRP.
Responding to the contention of the PRP that since there is no prohibition on the EC to allot a common symbol, it should be given one, the EC authority said this would not entitle the PRP to seek any mandamus from the court. Stating that the classification of the political parties into registered, recognised, unrecognised, etc., made by the EC in its symbol order is an illegal exercise, the counsel for Prajarajyam told the division bench comprising Justice B Prakasa Rao and Justice G Bhavani Prasad. The Representation of People’s Act makes no such distinction, he said.
The EC however in its affidavit told the court that there are nearly 1000 registered unrecognized political parties in the country and it would be impossible for them to allot common free symbols to all of them. It also cited the cases of two other registered but unrecognised parties – Lok Satta and Mana Party – from Andhra Pradesh which are seeking a common free symbol.The bench would hear the case again on Tuesday.
Has Andhra Jyothy managing director V Radhakrishna once again taken up the task of promoting Praja Rajyam Party president Chiranjeevi in the elections?
One would get the doubt after seeing the front page of the daily on Wednesday. Barring a box item against Congress MLC Premsagar who was caught red-handed with Rs 3 crore hard cash by the Income Tax officials, the entire page was dedicated to Chiranjeevi’s road show in Krishna district and his brother Pavan Kalyan’s interview. There is nothing else to read in the front page of the daily.
Initially, Radhakrishna was trying promote Chiranjeevi and project himself as a kingmaker, on the lines of Eenadu group chairman Ramoji Rao, who propped up Telugu Desam founder-president N T Rama Rao and later N Chandrababu Naidu. But, with Chiranjeevi keeping Radhakrishna at bay (obviously because of caste equations), he went back to promoting the TDP and attacking YSR. In the last few days, Radhakrishna has been attacking Sujana group’s Y S Chowdary, a close associate of Naidu and giving prominence to Chiranjeevi, though he was also highlighting Jr NTR’s road show. This has given rise to the doubts that Chiranjeevi might have sought Radhakrishna’s help in projecting the PRP and one does not know the details of bargaining between the two.
In Eenadu, too, there is no major news on the front page, except an expected analytical report on high command overruling several of Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s suggestions in the selection of MP candidates for the elections. Apart from that, there are a couple of photographs of Chiranjeevi’s and Jr NTR’s road shows. Chiranjeevi’s promise of providing LPG at Rs 100 was also highlighted at the top.
On the other hand, Sakshi’s banner story is about Indiramma housing scheme coming to a grinding halt due to implementation of model code of conduct and the Opposition parties raising needless controversies. It was a sort of explanation from the government for not completing the houses in time. Apart from IT officials arresting the Congress MLC at the Delhi airport, all the other stories are political press conferences: one by Naidu, defending his relationship with Jr NTR and another by Daggubati Venkateshwara Rao, who explained the pathetic childhood of Jr NTR.
Like other film industries, Tollywood too has its share of professional bickerings and catfights, but a few young stars seem to get along like a house on fire.
It re-affirms the faith that ‘human bonding’ can break all boundaries, even in professions where competition is the driving force. Undoubtedly, there may be many more friends in the film fraternity but we are just talking about a couple of friendships which indicate that actors do value personal relationships over professional considerations.
Can stars sharing the same profession be good friends? “Why not?” Ram Charan retorts. It is well-known that Ram Charan Tej and Allu Arjun are buddies and are always seen together. “Recently, Arjun heard a script for one of his films but later sent it to me. When I heard it, I felt that it was an amazing script, but he felt that I would suit the role better and sent it across to me,” he says. Ram Charan believes that friendships are sustained by giving considerable ‘personal and professional space’ and are built on mutual trust.
Similarly, we discovered that Ileana was also caught in a professional dilemma due to her friendship with Parvati Melton. The friendship between Ileana and Parvati Melton happened on the sets of Jalsa and it gradually strengthened over time. Recently, Ileana was reluctant to replace her friend Parvati, despite it being a plum offer opposite Mahesh Babu. “She was unwilling to take it up and we realised that it was due to her friendship with Parvati. The role finally went to another actress,” says Giridhar, manager to both Ileana and Parvati.
And there are more friendships, some quiet… some flamboyant. Actors like Prabhas and Gopichand have been friends for over a decade. The stars who shared screen space in Varsham have never flaunted their friendship, but new entrants like Varun Sandesh and Nikhil like declaring their friendship. “I threw a party to celebrate Varun’s hit film and vice versa,’ says Nikhil, who is happy to have such a ‘trustworthy’ buddy with whom he can discuss all matters under the sun.
1.Kadapa – Khaleel Pasha
2.Tirupathi – Varaprasad
3.Vijayawada – Vangaveeti radha/ K Kumar
4.Mahaboob Nagar – Vital Rao
5.Narsapurram- Parakala Prabhakar
6.Anakapalli – KV Rao
7.Eluru – Reddy Yadav
8.Vizayanagaram – Kala Venkat Rao
9.Jaheerabad – Siva Kumar Lingayath
10.Kareem Nagar – PapaRao
11.Srikakulam – Thammineni Seetharam
12.Nizamabad – Siva Shankar/
13.Medak – Fhayeem
14.Warangal – Sreedhar/Rajanna
15.Nellore – Penchalayya
16.Pedapalli – Dr.Buchchanna
17.Malakajgiri – Devendar Goud
18.Nagarkurnool – Sathish Madiga
21.Guntur – Thota Chandrashekar
22..Nandyala – Bhooma Nagi Reddy
23.Ananthapur – Mansoor
#This list has to be announced officially…….
VIZIANAGARAM: People have been asked to put the Congress on the mat to end corruption at every level. Star campaigner for Telugu Desam N.T. Rama Rao junior, during his brief speeches at Jinnam, Gadasam, Porali and Garbham villages in Gajapathinagaram and Cheepurupalli constituencies on Monday, called upon people to recall the days in 1982-83 when they rallied behind his grandfather N.T. Rama Rao and appealed to them to repeat history.
People, who waited for him patiently in the hot sun, cheered lustily whenever he talked about late NTR and his pet schemes of Rs.2-a-kg rice and janata dhoti and sari that were meant to provide them two square meals a day and alleviate the sufferings of the poor.
He said the social justice that some parties had been promising now was adopted during late NTR rule.
Ever since the Election Commission announced the dates for the LS polls, the entire nation has been affected by election fever. News about party alignment and party leaders seem to occupy the centre stage all over. As cinema and politics always go hand in hand, speculations about which actor patronizing which party seems to be in the news everyday.And Andhra Pradesh is no exception, where there is a huge fan following for actor-turned- politicians.
Recently, there were reports of Roja Kootam-fame Bhoomika joining the Telugu Desam Party. However, when the matter was probed, the actress vehemently denied the news and said, “I have not joined any political party. I am interested in social work, which prompted me to inaugurate a blood bank belonging to the Telugu Desam. That apart, I have no interest in politics.” Readers may recall that a couple of days back, Trisha was also said to have joined the Congress in Andhra Pradesh, which the actress denied.
March 16: The Congress on Monday demanded that the Election Commission should immediately ban screening of films of all those actors who are actively involved in politics in theatres.
In what is seen as a sharp reaction to the EC’s decision to cover faces of Rajiv Gandhi on 108 ambulances, the Congress came out with a demand to stop telecast of the movies starring Chiranjeevi, Balakrishna, Jr NTR, Pavan Kalyan and Allu Arjun on private channels.
The ruling party also went on an offensive against the EC which the former accused of showing partisan attitude towards Opposition parties. The finance minister and senior Congress leader, Mr K, Rosaiah, met the Chief Electoral Officer, Dr I.V. Subba Rao, and registered a strong protest against the EC’s decision to cover the face of Rajiv Gandhi on 108 ambulances.
He threatened to approach the court against the order.
“The EC is prompt in reacting to complaints of the Opposition parties but remains a mute spectator when they violate the code,” Mr Rosaiah said while referring to the EC keeping quiet on telecast of films of actors who are actively campaigning for political parties.
“Though there were orders prohibiting telecast of movies of actors who are involved in politics on Doordarshan, the private channels are not covered by these restrictions. If the face of a leader on a speeding vehicle could leave an impression among voters what will be the impact of screening or telecast full length films? They have more potential to influence the minds of voters with their heroic deeds on screen,” Mr Rosaiah said.
The Congress alleged that some private channels had been repeatedly telecasting movies and timing them before public meetings with a sole objective of mobilising crowds to the events.
HYDERABAD: Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) general secretary KT Rama Rao and Telugu Desam Party key campaigner and actor Junior NTR have become good friends and both are likely share the dais during electioneering in the Telangana region shortly.
Rama Rao, popularly known as KTR, is the son of party president K Chandrasekhar Rao. A regular in discussions on the Telangana issue on various fora, including Telugu TV channels, his comments have won the heart of Junior NTR and made him get in touch with the former. It prompted him to say that there’s some power in the name of Taraka Rama Rao. Both have become good friends now and are in regular touch.
Before kicking off his election campaign from Srikakulam, Junior NTR spoke to KTR and had even taken some tips on delivering speeches during road shows. Soon after his first address, the Nandamuri scion is learnt to have enquired about the public response to his speeches.
In this backdrop, the TRS leadership has already decided to requisition the services of Junior NTR for electioneering on behalf of the Grand Alliance candidates in the Telangana region.
The TRS leadership is of the opinion that Junior NTR has succeeded in neutralising to some extent the Chiranjeevi edge enjoyed by the Praja Rajyam Party (PRP). In the coming days, the image and standing of the Grand Alliance will further improve across the State, it feels.
Reacting to the response to NTR Jr’s electioneering, KTR says every actor attracts the masses, but only a few can impress them with their message.
Junior NTR has succeeded in doing that. “I will be campaigning with NTR in the Telangana region shortly,” he adds.