HYDERABAD: Films and politics continue their inextricable relationship in Andhra Pradesh, especially in the run-up to elections, with fan clubs of ‘Megastar’ Chiranjeevi and late N.T. Rama Rao, predominantly led by actor and TD MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna, indulging in bitter and sometimes, violent, rivalry.
In this context, hectic efforts are being made to work out a truce between the two warring fan clubs, at the behest of the Telugu Desam, with Balakrishna-starrer ‘Veera Simha Reddy’ and Chiranjeevi-starrer ‘Waltairu Veeraiah’ set to release on Sankranti.
Dismissing the efforts as politics of opportunity, the ruling YSR Congress said that the TD’s sudden love for Chiranjeevi was a strategy to not antagonise the strong Kapu community in the backdrop of a possible alliance between the Telugu Desam and the Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena.
Walking the extra mile, TD general secretary and former minister Nara Lokesh appealed to fans of both actors to be cautious about the “evil elements” instigating fan wars, pitching one community against the other. “We are all one. Let us all not fall prey to dirty and divisive politics (of the ruling YSR Congress),” he said in a tweet.
Lokesh has every reason to be worried, as two groups had clashed in the United States on New Year’s Day which led to the arrest of a few TD leaders.
Chiranjeevi, who, of late, has been indirectly promoting the candidature of his brother Pawan Kalyan, too extended an olive branch to the rival camp by agreeing to postpone the release of his film by a day, leaving the first day of the festive season releases to Balakrishna.
Playing the spoilsport in the truce game is the maverick movie director Ram Gopal Varma, a perennial critic of the Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan duo. Varma sharpened his criticism apparently after striking a movie deal with the ruling party.
The director is all set to launch a film with AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s character as the protagonist.
Soon after the meeting between Naidu and Pawan Kalyan recently in Hyderabad, the movie director, through his favourite mode of communication – Twitter —unleashed a vitriolic attack on the Jana Sena chief for what he described as “mortgaging the interests of the Kapu community to the Kamma community.”...