Hyderabad, June 21 (IANS) Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi's fans Saturday staged protests in different parts of Andhra Pradesh against remarks made by a state minister about the actor not having a mass appeal like Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekahara Reddy.
The actor's fans took to streets and burnt effigies of Marketing Minister M. Mareppa at Eluru in West Godavari district, Nizamabad, Tirupati and other towns. They demanded an apology from the minister for his remarks.
Mareppa said Friday that Chiranjeevi, who is likely to launch a new political party in August, has no mass appeal like Chief Minister Reddy. The minister remarked that the actor had neither made any sacrifices for the people nor did he know the people's pulse.
'Chiranjeevi may be a good cine actor, but is not clear on his political agenda and is not open to meeting people,' he said in Guntur. 'What are his sacrifices for the people? Has he ever taken up padyatra (walkathon) like Rajasekhara Reddy to know people's problems?' Mareppa asked.
The minister said the money spent on people's welfare by Chiranjeevi was also very little and blood and eye bank initiatives would not change his fortunes.
The actor's fans condemned Mareppa's reported remark that Chiranjeevi was selling the blood. They said the actor's social services were known to people all over the state.
The actor's aide G. Ramchandra Rao also took strong exception to the minister's remarks and warned that if he made the statement on behalf of the Congress party it would have to pay a heavy price.
Chiranjeevi's brother Nagendra Babu and brother-in-law Allu Arvind recently stated that the actor would launch the party in August. The actor's brothers and close aides were busy firming up plans for his entry into politics.
The chief minister Thursday stated that Chiranjeevi's party would not be a challenge to the Congress in the forthcoming elections.
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