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The villainous Sonali Bendre

May 27, 2003 22:14 IST

Sonali Bendre will be seen in a role with negative shades in her next Telugu film, Palnati Brahmanaidu, which releases this week. The actress, who stars opposite Balakrishna, said, 'This is the first time I am doing a role like this.' The film also stars Aarti Agarwal.

Sonali BendreBalakrishna, who praised Sonali's performance, said she reminded him of Bhanumati in Palnaati Yudham. That film was about a mistress (Bhanumati) who poisoned the mind of a king against his loyal minister (the late N T Rama Rao). The confrontation scenes between the two artistes are still talked about. Balakrishna says his film will have similar confrontations between him and Sonali.

The film has generated a lot of hype since it teams Balakrishna and director B Gopal. Their previous films Lorry Driver, Rowdy Inspector, Samarasimha Reddy and Narasimha Naidu were blockbusters.

Is Vijayashanti quitting?

When Chandrasekhar Rao, president of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, sounded the clapboard at the launch of Vijayashanti's latest film, directed by Madhava Sai, rumours began about her change in political loyalties. When she issued a press statement in support of a separate Telangana state, it gained credence.

The fiery actress, who holds an important post in the BJP women's wing, actively campaigned for the TDP-BJP combine in the assembly and parliamentary elections. She was even tipped to contest opposite Sonia Gandhi if the latter had opted for Cuddapah, in Andhra Pradesh, instead of Bellary, Karnataka, in the 1999 general election.

Though she was considered close to the BJP's national leaders -- Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani had launched her home production a few years ago -- she was not actively involved in the BJP's campaigns later. People assumed she was lying low since her films were not doing too well. Besides, the BJP did not offer her a Rajya Sabha berth despite using her services.

With the Telangana movement gaining momentum, the TRS has grown in size and popularity. It is expected to grab a considerable number of seats in the coming elections. Sensing the changing mood, the actress may join the TRS. It may also be a veiled threat to her party seniors to duly reward her for her services.