Hyderabad: The face-off between the Vijayawada city police and film director Ram Gopal Varma in the Andhra Pradesh capital on Sunday could just be the “trailer” as inputs trickling in from the AP police suggest that leaders and workers of both the ruling Telugu Desam and their main rival YSR Congress are flexing their muscles for a massive showdown on May 1, the day his controversial movie Lakshmi’s NTR hits the theatres in the state.
Accordingly, security is being beefed up in all the 900-odd theatres across Andhra Pradesh.
Both AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and his arch rival and YSRC president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy have returned from their holidays after a bitter battle for the AP elections, the results of which will be out on May 23.
“The leaders and workers of both parties, who took some time off to cool down after hectic electioneering, are now back in business and are waiting for an opportunity to take on each other. Ram Gopal Varma’s Lakshmi’s NTR will come handy for that very purpose on May 1,” was how a few senior police officials chose to describe the situation.
After receiving first-hand inputs from the ground about the prevailing mood in the TD and YSRC camps, the state intelligence wing has passed on the inputs to both the Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam police commissioners besides superintendents of police of all the districts to step up vigil and take precautionary measures. “While the TD is obviously going to protest the portrayal of party supremo and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who the movie depicts as the man who dethroned N.T. Rama Rao in a coup, the YSRC, which is already sympathising with Mr Varma, is likely to go to town with the Naidu-as-a-backstabber themed press conferences and make the most of the movie, which could end up in law and order problems,” sources said.
Sources said that going by the prevailing mood in both the political parties, the police is anticipating that TD workers might resort to damaging property inside the theatres and are likely to prevent people from watching the movie. “We cannot say whether the general public will come in large numbers to watch the movie on the first two days,’’ they said adding that the YSR Congress too has its own “strategies” in place.
After clearing the Election Commission and High court hurdles in view of the general elections, the movie is all set for May 1 release in Andhra Pradesh. The movie had already hit the screens in all other places early this month.
“We will be having bandobust in all theatres in Vijayawada and security will be tight and all adequate measures are being taken,” Vijayawada police commissioner Dwarka Tirumala Rao told Deccan Chronicle.
Already, Section 144 CrPC is in place, which bars unlawful assembly of more than four persons....