Nellore: Ministers Botsa Satyanarayana, Perni Venkatramaiah (Nani), and Dr Anilkumar Yadav came down heavily against actor-politician Pawan Kalyan for his utterances against Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and the YSR Congress.
The Jana Sena chief speaking at a pre-release function of Sai Dharma Teja film ‘Republic’ in Hyderabad on Saturday night alleged that the state government has been troubling cinema theatres in Andhra Pradesh on the issue of online tickets.
It came in for sharp criticism from I&PR minister Venkatramaiah, who, on Sunday, said in Vijayawada that on the contrary it was the film industry that has been asking the government for online ticketing since 2003. Nani added that Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce secretary Damodar Prasad had given a representation to them seeking online ticketing on December 24, 2016, and again on December 1, 2018.
Later, Chiranjeevi and other Tollywood representatives met the Chief Minister in June 2020 and submitted a representation under the name of Narayanadas Kishan Das Narang seeking the same.
He said the film industry bigwigs had met him on September 20 this year seeking online ticketing. The minister asserted that the state government had okayed online ticketing only after considering the requests of the film industry. He clarified that the state government would only run the online portal and theatre staff will sell tickets online. The amount collected through the portal will be transferred to the theatre owners through the RBI gateway the next day. He slammed Pawan Kalyan for having no knowledge of the issue.
Disputing Pawan Kalyan’s remarks on ticket prices, he said that it was Jagan Mohan Reddy who had given a 40 per cent hike to movie tickets after eight years. He was not crushing Tollywood, Nani said. He asked the actor-politician to instead question the Prime Minister over GST and taxes on movies.
In Vizianagaram, Botsa Satyanarayana questioned the rationale behind Pawan’s outburst. He also warned the actor against using derogatory remarks against the Chief Minister.
In Nellore, water resources minister Dr Yadav alleged that Pawan Kalyan is making comments against YSRC only for his political survival. He said there were no chances of improving Jana Sena's position in Andhra Pradesh and it would be in the fitness of things if the actor winds it up.
Dr Yadav explained that they had brought an online movie ticket portal to ensure transparency and there was no distinction in ticket prices of films of star heroes and others like Sampoornesh Babu.
In a spontaneous reaction to the statement, Sampoornesh Babu thanked the minister for comparing him with a good-hearted person like Pawan Kalyan.
Meanwhile, using his Twitter platform, popular actor Nani said “keeping aside the political differences between Pawan Kalyan sir and AP government, the film industry issues addressed are genuine and needs immediate attention”.
Another actor Karthikeya said he is not supporting or being against any political party but the issue addressed by Pawan with respect to the Telugu film industry makes sense.
Telugu film chamber thanks Jagan for support
Meanwhile, Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce and several actors posted tweets on the issue.
The chamber, in a release on Saturday, said that they were grateful to Andhra Pradesh government and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for patiently understanding and positively responding to their concerns.
President of the forum, Narayanadas Kishandas Narang said the film industry has suffered the onslaught of the division of the state, the pandemic, and other issues.
“Our industry is in the worst possible situation. Various individuals have expressed their views, opinions, and anguish on different platforms.
These are not the voices of the industry as a whole. We wish to reiterate that the apex body of our industry is the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce in both Telugu states.
While reacting to Pawan Kalyan's call for his intervention, veteran actor Mohan Babu thanked him for pulling him into the issue. In a tweet, he said his son is contesting for the president post of Movie Artists Association and he would reply to the points raised by Pawan after the election....