Chiranjeevi kick-starts his political tour in Andhra Pradesh

October 9th, 2008 - 10:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Oct 9 (IANS) Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi Thursday launched his maiden and much-awaited state-wide “yatra” or tour from Srikakulam district in north coastal Andhra.The Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) chief launched his the tour in the evening after offering prayers at Suryanarayana Swamy temple in Arasavelli near Itchapuram in Srikakulam district.

The superstar, who launched the party in August, reached Srikakulam in a helicopter from Hyderabad. En route, his chopper landed at Rajahmundry for refuelling.

Hundreds of his fans gathered outside the temple as he arrived for the prayers. Addressing the crowd, he said his party’s aim was to bring a change in the state. “I want to see prosperity and happiness,” he said amid loud cheers.

Chiranjeevi began the tour in a special vehicle. He will cover a distance of 50 km every day and address road-side public meetings.

In the first phase, the actor will cover three north coastal Andhra districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam for nine days. He will later visit the south coastal Andhra, Telangana and Rayalseema areas of the state.

Chiranjeevi has sounded the election bugle by launching the tour. The simultaneous elections to state assembly and the Lok Sabha are likely to be held in February-March next year.

All the political parties, especially the ruling Congress and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party, are keenly watching the response to Chiranjeevi’s tour. The political re-alignment in the state will also depend on the people’s response to the tour.

The two communist parties are likely to decide on aligning with the Telegu Desam Party or the PRP based on the response to Chiranjeevi’s “yatra”. Even Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) may join hands with the PRP if it takes a stand in favour of separate statehood to Telangana.

Chiranjeevi chose north coastal Andhra to begin his tour as he enjoys huge fan following in the region as well as two other coastal districts of East and West Godavari.

The actor, who hails from West Godavari district, already made waves with his visits to Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar and Warangal districts in the Telangana region.

In his first public appearance after launching the party, he visited Sircilla in Karimnagar district and met families of weavers who committed suicide due to crisis in handloom sector. He then visited Mahbubnagar district to express solidarity with farmers fighting against land acquisition for Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

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