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Why Telugu film stars are chasing PM-in-waiting Modi

March 25, 2014 12:34 IST

Why Telugu film stars are chasing PM-in-waiting Modi

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Vicky Nanjappa

Actors Pawan Kalyan, Nagarjuna Akkineni, Junior NTR and Mahesh Babu are making a beeline to meet the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa tells you why    

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi seems to have a fan following in the Telugu film industry.

While actors Pawan Kalyan and Nagarjuna Akkineni have called on Modi, it is being said that Junior NTR and Mahesh Babu are likely to follow suit.

These meetings come as a surprise during the election season, as they have nothing to do with the film industry.

During Modi’s last visit to Hyderabad there were several actors and producers from the Telugu film industry who met him and spoke about the future of the film industry.

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Image: Film star Nagarjuna Akkineni


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Vicky Nanjappa

The Andhra Pradesh state bifurcation process had not yet commenced at that time, but the actors sought help from Modi to move the industry to a different location. Currently the industry is based in Hyderabad and it is likely to be shifted to Visakhapatnam after the bifurcation on June 2.

The latest meetings are political in nature, sources told Rediff.com.

While Pawan Kalyan says he would support the candidature of Modi and campaign for the BJP in Andhra Pradesh, Nagarjuna described the meeting as strictly non-political.

But sources say that Nagarjuna, who is know to be close to YSR chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, met Modi on Reddy’s behalf. Reddy had said that he was on the look out for a post poll alliance with any party that would form the government at the Centre.

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Image: Telugu film star NTR Jr


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Why Telugu film stars are chasing PM-in-waiting Modi

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Vicky Nanjappa

During the 2009 elections, Nagarjuna had campaigned behind the scenes for Jagan’s father (former chief minister) Dr Y S Rajasekara Reddy. It was then that Nagarjuna grew close to Jagan.

The YSR Congress party has, however, not publicly spoken about any alliance. It has sent feelers to the BJP but has decided to wait until the elections are over.

With the Telugu Desam Party and the BJP trying to finalise an alliance, Jagan felt that his issue should be kept alive. He indicated that he would support the BJP if it sought support to form the government at the Centre. Sources say Nagarjuna carried this message to Modi.

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Image: Telugu film actor Mahesh Babu


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Why Telugu film stars are chasing PM-in-waiting Modi

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Vicky Nanjappa

The other reasons being cited for Nagarjuna meeting Modi was to seek a BJP ticket for his wife Amla and also safeguard his business interests in Hyderabad. Nagarjuna had first met with (former BJP president) Venkaiah Naidu, who is said to have arranged for the meeting with Modi, sources say.

Junior NTR is trying to position himself as a strong leader in the Telugu Desam Party. He feels his oratory skills would prevail over party president Chandrababu Naidu.

It was also rumoured that Junior NTR had fallen out with the TDP, but yet campaigned for the party.

Mahesh Babu too has decided to campaign for the TDP. He would try and meet Modi in a bid to counter Jagan, sources say.


Image: Actors Pawan Kalyan


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