Adding extra star power to the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh, young Telugu film star Raja has joined the party.
"Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy is a man with vision. His service to mankind is what basically attracted me towards him and also the Congress," Raja said in an exclusive chat with PTI on Sunday.
The actor said the Congress government's welfare schemes, particularly in health care and education also drew him towards the party.
"A scheme like Arogya Sri health insurance is a real boon to the people, particularly the poor who could otherwise not afford costly treatment in corporate hospitals. Thanks to the scheme, many lives are being saved," the 30-year-old star said.
"I wish and pray to God that the Congress retains power for the welfare of the state," he said.
Asserting that he would not contest the ensuing elections, Raja, who hails from the port city of Visakhapatnam, said he would campaign for the Congress.
"I am basically interested in taking up social work, particularly related to the girl child education and health care. I hope the government will support me in my endeavours," he said.
The young hero, who shot into fame with the runaway hit 'Anand', said it would henceforth be a mix of film career and politics for him.
"I want to guide the younger generation in areas where they need some support and also give moral support to people on issues of concern," Raja said.
On taking a political plunge when he is going strong in his film career, Raja said, "There has been a great change in people's attitude and mindset towards politics. There is also a significant change among the younger generation and the way they look at politics. Hence, I thought it was the right time for me to join politics."
Raja, who has acquired a lover-boy image, has so far acted in 15 films including-- Mayabazaar, Mogudu-Pellam Dongaata, Vijayam, Toss, Oka Oorilo and AndamainaAbaddam. He is currently shooting for Inkokasaari.