Thousands arrive in Tirupati for Chiranjeevi’s party launchAugust 26th, 2008 - 12:28 pm ICT by IANS
Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Aug 26 (IANS) All roads seemed to lead to this temple town Tuesday with thousands of vehicles as well as special trains and bus services ferrying fans from across the state to hear Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi announce the name and policies of his political party.Chiranjeevi, who arrived here in the morning along with his family members, will address an expected crowd of one million at the Avilala tank bed in the evening.
The actor was given a rousing reception by his fans at the Renigunta airport near here. Accompanied by wife Surekha and son, actor Ramcharan Teja, Chiranjeevi drove straight to the Lord Venkateshwara temple on Tirumala Hills to seek divine blessings before formally launching his political career.
The actor, who announced his entry into politics on Aug 17, will declare the name and agenda of his ‘pro-poor’ party, which may alter the political equations in the southern state ahead of the March 2009 elections.
The temple town is teeming with huge crowds, including a large number of physically challenged and women fans of the actor. Slogans of ‘Jai Chiranjeeva’ rent the air as the thousands of fans stepped off at the railway station and bus stops. Hotels, lodges, guest houses and function halls have been booked as well.
The railways have operated 18 special trains while state-owned Road Transport Corporation is running 1,500 buses. Thousands of private vehicles are also ferrying Chiranjeevi’s fans from different parts of the state. The majority of the people are coming from coastal Andhra as the actor hails from the region.
The town is decked up with huge cutouts of the actor and banners hailing his entry into politics. Hoardings showing the actor in different moods have been erected on every road.
Chiru, as the actor is popularly known, will alone hog the limelight during the massive show of strength planned in true filmi style. He is also expected to be the lone speaker at the three-hour meeting, scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
The organisers, however, are worried about the likelihood of rain with the monsoon active across the state.
The met department has forecast rain at Tirupati and few other places in Rayalseema.
Massive security arrangements have been made for the meeting, termed as one of the biggest political shows in recent years. Over 3,000 policemen are being deployed at the venue besides an equal number of volunteers of Chiru Rashtra Yuvatha (youth wing).
Adding another filmi touch to the mega event, the organisers have hired two helicopters. A chopper will shower flower petals on the venue, while another will record the event, beaming it across 70 huge LCD screens deployed around the area.
Chiru, who turned 53 last Friday, has bid adieu to his three-decade film career and has decided to dedicate his life to serve the poor and the needy. It is in this context that he decided to launch the party on Aug 26, the birth anniversary of Mother Teresa.
Chiru’s party is expected to emerge as a major political force in the state. His fans see him as the next chief minister and feel he would emerge as powerful as matinee idol N.T. Rama Rao, who changed the course of Andhra politics by coming to power within nine months after launching the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1982.