VIJAYAWADA: Former Union minister and ‘megastar’ Chiranjeevi has fully supported Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s idea of three capitals for Andhra Pradesh. The actor appealed to people that they must welcome the proposal, which, he said, is aimed at achieving comprehensive development of the state.
Mr Chiranjeevi, who has been away from active politics since 2014 and has kept himself busy with films, sprang a surprise by issuing a statement on Saturday on the crucial and contentious development in the state. “I am confident that the Chief Minister has a planned approach for overall development of the state,” he maintained.
This is the second instance of Mr Chiranjeevi supporting Jagan Mohan Reddy in the recent past, the first being his appreciation for enactment of the Disha legislation, making death sentence mandatory for rape convicts. Chiranjeevi, along with his family, had also called on the Chief Minister and had lunch with him just before the release of his periodical film Syra Narasimha Reddy.
Significantly, the element of drama has not been missed within the film family of the megastar. ’s open support of the three capitals came a day after his younger brother Nagababu went to Amaravati to extend solidarity with the agitating farmers opposing the shifting of capital to Visakhapatnam.
His youngest brother and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan, in his usual style of politics, took a different stand on Saturday from his previous outright rubbishing of the very idea of three capitals. “People are confused. Ministers say that Cabinet will have to discuss the G. N. Rao committee recommendations. Jana Sena political affairs committee will deliberate on the Cabinet’s decision, only after which the party’s stand will be revealed,” he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, speculations are rife about Mr Chiranjeevi coming out of his political oblivion, even as a section of ruling party leaders are elated about the megastar, who enjoys support of the Kapu community to which he belongs, moving closer to the Chief Minister.
“Chiranjeevi garu is a gentleman. We would all welcome his return to active politics as he will add a lot of value if he joins us,” said a senior YCP leader, giving strength to rumours that the film star might even be offered a Rajya Sabha seat by the ruling party.
Leaders, who are close to the star, however, feel that it was too early to speculate.
Maintaining that Chiranjeevi had strongly lobbied for Union Territory status for Hyderabad at the time of bifurcation, a minister from coastal districts pointed out that the megastar had strongly advocated decentralisation of administration in the residuary Andhra Pradesh.
“His reaction today could be spontaneous, as there is an ideological similarity between him and the Chief Minister on the issue,” he added....