With his Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) in a disarray and his political career out of reckoning,Telugu mega star Chiranjeevi has embarked on a yatra with a very tricky and contentious objective. At a time when various parties are making representations to the Srikrishna Commission on Telangana,Chiranjeevi is trying to nurture his image as the hero of united Andhra.
His 11-day yatra that kicked off on Wednesday from Antarvedi in East Godavari district will culminate,after going through several coastal districts,at Polavaram the site of the dam coming up on the Godavari river in West Godavari district.
The idea of united Andhra and Polavaram Project are both a matter of contention and discord in Telangana region. Telangana accuses the state government of working on a project that would deprive the region of its share of Godavari water. As for united Andhra,the Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Telangana says it is not Andhras nor its leaders business to interfere if Telangana wants to be a separate state.
By choosing to end his yatra at Polavaram and linking it with the united Andhra sentiment,Chiranjeevi is striking at an emotional cord in the coastal districts where the project is dubbed as a lifeline.
For him,united Andhra is the only issue that may boast his image and revive his party. Even though many people dont like it,I feel that Andhra will benefit more if it remains united. I am very clear on my stand. We must stay united. Bifurcation will not serve anyone and it is just a political demand, said Chiranjeevi.
The star is risking a lot as both TRS and JAC have not only criticised his yatra but also warned him against returning to Telangana region,which includes Hyderabad. JAC convener M Kodandaram said: Let us see how he returns to Hyderabad after his united Andhra tour.
Chiranjeevi remains unfazed. I will make people of Telangana understand why we need to stay united. Many people I have talked to have changed their opinion after I explained and also laid bare the fact that the demand for a separate is more political than social, he said.