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Chiranjeevi launches Praja Rajyam
Vicky Nanjappa in Tirupati and Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad | August 26, 2008 18:19 IST
Last Updated: August 26, 2008 21:29 IST
Praja Rajyam (People's Rule) is the name of the political party of the Telugu superstar-turned-politician Chiranjeevi [Images].
The much-awaited name was unveiled by the star before a sea of humanity at Tirupati on Tuesday evening in a filmi style.
Developing the suspense and anxiety of the audience comprising of hundreds of thousands of men, women and youths, Chiranjeevi said that the name was chosen because his party was born from the hearts and minds of the people.
"Who called me into politics. It was you people. What do you want? It should be rule by the people for the people," he said.
Without going into the details of the policies and programmes of his party, Chiranjeevi said it will be a secular, pro-poor party.
"It will be the part of backward and weaker sections, farmers, labours, and women. It will be party, which will fight for social justice which will take Andhra Pradesh towards economic development and prosperity and industrial development. It will make the state a Santosha Andhra Pradesh, Chirunavvulu Andhra Pradesh and Ananda Andhra Pradesh," he said.
He promised top priority to the farmers, universal access to good education and healthcare to all the people on the lines of developed countries.
"My dream is to provide high-quality healthcare of corporate sector hospitals to the people in districts," he said.
The wait was long, but worth it. The megastar and the annaya (brother) of Andhra Pradesh arrived at the Avilala Cheruvu in Tirupati at 5.30 pm amidst cheers and screams from all his fans who were waiting since morning.
Chiranjeevi, sporting a white shirt, walked up to the grandly-decked dais, waving at fans who could not stop screaming the moment they laid their eyes on the star.
Chiranjeevi began his speech by uttering the words and seeking the blessings of "Tirumala Tirupathi Venkatesha."
Chiranjeevi, who sounded emotional on seeing such a huge gathering, said, "These eyes of mine are blessed to be witnessing such a wonderful sight."
He also went on to say that he was here to serve the people and told the people that he understood the problems as he too came from a very humble background.
The crowd was beyond control and screamed "Jai Chiranjeeva" as he decended upon the temple town of Andhra Pradesh.
However, as he started speaking, the entire crowd went quiet and began listening to him patiently.
Flowers were showered on the mega star the moment he walked up to the dais and as he waved and greeted the crowd, the people danced and shouted as though there was no tomorrow.
The older women were seen weeping as he came on stage and they raised their hands towards him showering their blessings on the star.
The temple town had not seen so much activity in a long time. The town was probably reminded of the days of N T Rama Rao who launched his party in Tirupati in similar fashion.
The fans say that the crowd present is nearly 10 lakh. However, when one looks at the sea of humanity present at Tirupathi, you could say the crowd is as much as the eye can see.
The organisers had a tough time in controlling the crowd. The police had to resort to lathi charge on three occasions to keep the crowd under control.
Throughout the day, Chiranjeevi's movies such as Mutta Mesthri and Indra played on the giant screen as well as the 70 LCD monitors that have been set up at the venue.
A documentary on Chiranjeevi's achievements and also on his charitable activities were also shown. The people were also treated to a variety of cultural programmes, which mainly revolved around the life and achievements of the megastar, Chiranjeevi.
What does the party flag convey?
The flag Praja Rajyam Party, with a white and green colour, a red sun embossed in the middle and a yellow colour was unfurled by two disabled, including a girl, who lost both her hands.
"Sun is source of energy and life for all the living beings and it gives energy continuously. The 24 rays of sun symbolise our commitment that right from an ordinary worker to the top level, the party will work 24 hours for the people. It will go in every direction, every nook and corner and to the remotes place", he said.
"Similarly our party and I do not belong to any one. White has colour of all the people. It symbolizes clean governance and transparency", he said.
"It is also an acknowledgement of farmers."
The yellow line on the flag expresses the wish that there should be smile on every face and happiness in every home.
"The party should get support from every section and every person", he said.
Chiru goes down memory lane
"Chiranjeevi is a Seedha Sadha (Simple) person. I have come from a lower middle-class family of a constable. If for some reason my father's salary would not come we had to go with out food", he said. He said on such occasion his father would ask him to search for some change in the trunk to arrange for food.
"I still remember my mother used to walk miles with me in his lap on one side and a pot of water on her head".
"From my childhood I have seen suffering of my mother from close quarters", he said recalling that he used to help her in household chorus.
"Later, when my family bought some land, I used to work with my hand and even take the paddy to rice mill", he said.
"I have not at all forgotten all those difficulties", Chiranjeevi said. He said when he went to college for the first time, he had to go in a knickers. "I felt inhibited and ashamed. Later, I had only two pairs of pants. I have this sort of experience of life".
Going down the memory lane, Chiranjeevi said that when he went to Chennai to find work in films he had only Rs 110 in his pocket and used to eat only once.
"I will just have banana and tea to save money so my parents don't suffer".
Driving home the point that he was not at all cut off from the harsh realities of life, he said, "Look at the characters I played on the screen. They were not fictitious or out of this world. I portrayed the suffering of a Dalit youth in Pranam Khareedu. I portrayed the struggle for self-respect. I played the role of an IAS officer from tribal background," he said.
"I have seen life from every angle," he said.
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