As PRP turns two, Chiranjeevi stuck at a two-way junction

Exactly two years after he launched the Praja Rajyam Party with the promise of ushering in a "change" on the political front in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi virtually finds himself stuck at a two-way junction.

Updated: Aug 24, 2010, 18:04 PM IST

Hyderabad: Exactly two years after he
launched the Praja Rajyam Party with the promise of ushering
in a "change" on the political front in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu
megastar Chiranjeevi virtually finds himself stuck at a
two-way junction.

His road to glory -- films -- is now calling Chiranjeevi
back, but he is not in a position to abandon the the track of
politics midway.
In recent days, Chiranjeevi, now a member of AP Assembly,
has been repeatedly talking about his "first love" (movies)
and the "demand from his fans" that he put on the greasepaint
once again. It was at the audio release function of
Rajinikanth`s Telugu film `Robot` in Hyderabad that
Chiranjeevi talked about his itching for doing a movie again.

"When Rajini does a film like Robot, it inspires people
like to me to venture into something similar. Moreover, it had
been my (unrealised) dream to work with a brilliant director
like Shankar. If Shankar says yes, I am ready," Chiranjeevi
had said at that function.

His youngest brother and actor Pavan Kalyan too publicly
requested Chiranjeevi to "do one more film" at the earliest.
Chiranjeevi, during a talk show hosted by actress and MP
Jayaprada on a Telugu TV channel, did not rule out the
possibility of his return to silver screen "sooner or later".

Upcoming actor and Chiranjeevi`s son Ramcharan Tej went a
step ahead to announce on August 22 (Chiranjeevi`s birthday)
that he would be producing a film with his dad before the end
of 2011. If he does, it would be Chiranjeevi`s 150th film.

As the leader faces a difficult situation over his career
options his party prepares to hold its first plenary session,
coinciding with its second anniversary, in Visakhapatnam on
August 25 and 26.

It was on August 26, 2008 that Chiranjeevi launched the
PRP in temple town of Tirupati with a lot of fanfare. It did
not celebrate its first anniversary last year because of the
party`s poor performance in the 2009 general elections.

In fact, the PRP has nothing much to celebrate about in
the two years of its existence. The party that entered the
political scene in the state as an alternative to both the
Congress and the Telugu Desam Party is now increasingly being
seen as an "appendix" to the ruling party.
Chiranjeevi has befriended the Congress over the last few
months, in the aftermath of former chief minister Y S
Rajasekhara Reddy`s death, and is ready to play a saviour just
in case the ruling party suffers a split in the fast-changing
political scenario in AP.

Political observers say Congress sees Chiranjeevi as the
only charismatic leader against TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu
in the event of rebellious Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy
walking out of the ruling party, and is hence keeping him in
good humour.

Chiranjeevi, however, is quick to debunk any such
theories. "PRP will continue to be an independent party and
will not merge with the Congress," he has repeatedly been
asserting over the last few days. He, however, says the PRP
may have only an "electoral understanding" with the Congress.

Being a widely-acclaimed actor, Chiranjeevi is still a
crowd-puller. This has been proved yet again when he undertook
a "Praja Chaitanya Yatra" in five districts very recently,
during which he was highly critical of the "anti-people
policies" of the state government.

But it is being said that he could not build his party
organisation effectively in the last two years. There is no
proper party structure in place right from the state-level.
Except the Political Affairs Committee, the PRP has no other
party wings in place. Neither could the party complete its
membership enrolment exercise because of which the
organisational elections have been put off.

His youngest brother and film star `Pavan` Kalyan headed
the youth wing of PRP soon after its formation. This was
disbanded after the PRP`s rout in the 2009 elections and
Kalyan quietly retreated to the tinsel town. Chiranjeevi`s
younger brother Nagababu too has distanced himself from the
party and is busy producing a movie with his nephew Tej.

Chiranjeevi`s brother-in-law and Man Friday Allu Aravind,
one of the erstwhile general secretaries of PRP, has also
become politically inactive now, though he promised to make a
"strong comeback" after August.
The women`s wing of PRP too has been abandoned though
Chiranjeevi boasts of having the largest support base among
women. The two popular women faces in the party -- Vasireddy
Padma and Sobha Rani -- are at loggerheads, leaving
Chiranjeevi with more headache.

The party has only a handful of leaders worth the name
left in its ranks after the exit of several bigwigs, who
initially migrated to it in the hope for greener pastures.

The PRP`s stand in favour of a unified Andhra Pradesh has
reduced it to nothing in the Telangana region where the demand
for a separate state is running high. However, after a gap of
over eight months, PRP has recently started efforts for
rebuilding itself in the region.

Now, the PRP will deliberate upon its political strategy
at the two-day plenary in Visakhapatnam where it will also
adopt resolutions on 12 different subjects, according to its
Political Affairs Committee member D T Naik.

"Apart from the main political resolution, we shall also
adopt resolutions on agriculture scenario, finance, welfare,
price rise, law and order, youth and women welfare, education
and healthcare," Naik told agency.

PRP will stick to its stand on a unified Andhra Pradesh
and this will be reflected in its political resolution, party
sources say. A documentary on Chiranjeevi`s film career will
be the highlight of the plenary, they add.

PTI
Kuwait City: Kuwait has expressed concern
over an Iranian nuclear reactor on the opposite shore of the
Gulf, saying it fears the fallout from possible leaks, the
official news agency reported.

"Kuwait`s concern is based on fears of any leaks due to
natural causes that may have future consequences," foreign
ministry undersecretary Khaled al-Jarallah was cited as saying
by the KUNA news agency last night.

Kuwait is the nearest country to the Russian-built
nuclear plant in the Iranian city of Bushehr, which lies just
at the other end of the narrow Gulf.

A number of Kuwaiti MPs called on the government to take
precautionary measures against any incident from the Iranian
plant.

Iran loaded the Bushehr facility with nuclear fuel on
Saturday and the United States said there was no
"proliferation risk" from the civilian plant because of
Russian involvement.

Kuwaiti media have reported that a senior Iranian
official is due to arrive in Kuwait within days, possibly to
discuss the nuclear plant issue.

During a short visit yesterday, Qatar`s Prime Minister
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani conveyed the outcome of his
meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Sheikh Hamad said in statements cited by KUNA that the
Bushehr powerplant was an Iranian affair.

"If the plant is peaceful and for power use according to
our information, then this is a legitimate right for Iran
under international law and we do not want to change this
framework at the present time," he was reported as saying.

PTI