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Starshine wears off: ‘misjudged mood’

Diehard fans will not necessarily vote for their matinee idol. Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi learnt it the hard way on Saturday after his party won only 18 Assembly seats.

Diehard fans will not necessarily vote for their matinee idol. Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi learnt it the hard way on Saturday after his party won only 18 Assembly seats.

The actor-turned-politician and Praja Rajyam Party president reluctantly accepted defeat while talking to reporters at his office in the evening. Throughout the day,the actor kept reporters waiting outside his Banjara Hills residence unable to digest the verdict.

Chiranjeevi who contested from two constituencies — Tirupati and Palacole — lost from Palacole. “I accept the verdict of the people,” he said. Chiranjeevi had expressed confidence that the party would win more than 100 seats because there was a silent revolution against the Congress and TDP. He even dismissed the exit polls and said there was no question of his playing the role of a kingmaker because he would be a king. “I think we are a relatively new party,and within eight months we could not organise things well. My aim was to provide a platform to the weaker sections,those sections that were never represented in the Assembly. Perhaps we laid too much stress on social justice and neglected other issues,” he said.

He claimed that money power played a key role in the elections but did not elaborate on it. “I won’t say that people made a mistake by not voting for us. I accept their verdict. Winning or losing is not important at this time,what is important is to be supportive and accept the defeat,” he said.

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When asked what role he foresaw for himself and his party in the state,Chiranjeevi said he would do whatever he can “according to the strength I have in Assembly and Parliament.”

He admitted that the party grossly miscalculated and misjudged the mood of the people when lakhs of people attended roadshows conducted by him and his actor-brother and felt that they would vote for the party. “Maybe I will get another chance in future,” he said.

The PRP was hoping to sweep at least six coastal districts and was expecting to win at least 40 seats in the area. However,it failed to make any impact in the region as was evident with Chiranjeevi’s defeat in Palacole in West Godavari district.

First published on: 17-05-2009 at 01:14:24 am
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