Amid chaos in PRP, Chiranjeevi defends brother-in-lawApril 5th, 2009 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, April 5 (IANS) Amid utter chaos in his Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi Sunday defended his brother-in-law and PRP general secretary Allu Aravind, saying the allegations that he sold tickets for this month’s elections were “baseless”.
With dozens of leaders continuing to quit the party to protest lack of transparency in selection of candidates for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections, Chiranjeevi defended Aravind, a film producer who is considered to be the brain behind the actor taking a plunge into politics last year.
Chiranjeevi said the allegations that PRP tickets were being sold were a false propaganda and part of a conspiracy by the rivals to tarnish the image of his party. “Unfortunately, these allegations are damaging the party,” he told reporters here Sunday.
The PRP founder and chief, however, claimed that the selection of candidates was done in a transparent manner and on the basis of a survey done by the party. Reiterating that the party was committed to the goal of social justice, he said out of 294 assembly seats, the party gave tickets to 104 candidates belonging to the backward classes.
“Never in the history of Indian politics, such a large number of candidates from backward classes were fielded by any party,” said Chiranjeevi, while exuding confidence that the party would come to power in the state on its own.
Chiranjeevi apologised to former police officer C. Anjaneya Reddy, who resigned Saturday as party vice-president, citing lack of transparency in the selection of candidates for assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
The megastar Sunday sent his brother Naga Babu to Reddy’s residence to persuade him to withdraw his resignation and later offered to personally meet him to sort out the differences.
Addressing ‘meet-the-press’ programme here, Chiranjeevi said Reddy was an upright and honest man and he was shocked to know about his resignation. “I am apologising to him and will personally appeal to him to come back to the party,” said the actor.
Reddy, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and a member of party’s think tank, quit the party saying his hopes of seeing a different party were dashed by the lack of transparency in its selection of candidates.
Reddy said the PRP was no different from the Congress party and the Telugu Desam. “It also lacks an organisational setup and everything is in the hands of three or four individuals,” he said.
Meanwhile, the party appears to be heading for more trouble with the resignations of party’s founder member Samaram and president of Chiranjeevi fans association C. Venkateswara Rao.
Unhappy with the leadership, several leaders quit PRP during the last two weeks. Some of them are even contesting the elections as rebels.
PRP general secretary Prakala Prabhakar and state women’s wing chief Shobha Rani were also reported to have taken a decision to quit the party.
Even P. Mitra, party spokesman and a close aide of Chiranjeevi, is unhappy over the situation prevailing in the party. He was pained and shocked when Chiranjeevi’s younger brother and actor Pavan Kalyan allegedly caught him with the scruff of his neck when he called his fans “lumpen elements”.
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