Thousands grieve ANR’s death; politicians, actors, people from all walks pay last respects

Thousands of fans, actors, directors, producers and others from all walks of life thronged the Annapurna Studios where the body of thespian Akkineni Nageswara Rao was kept to enable people to pay homage.

Film personalities jostled with political leaders to bid adieu to the film veteran. The approach road to the studios was packed with people walking up, with those in vehicles finding it tough to navigate. Inside, barricades were put up to make it easier to pay respects to the thespian and make way for others.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Ministers and Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu were among those who paid homage and consoled Rao’s family members who included his sons, Nagarjuna and Suresh. Then came veteran actors who acted with ANR - MLA Jayasudha, Jamuna, Giri Babu and others.

Reigning stars who mourned included Anushka Shetty, Mahesh Babu, NTR Junior, Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, directors S.S. Rajamouli and Srinu Vaitla, producers D. Suresh Babu, Ram and Gopichand Achanta and Anil Sunkara, Manchu Mohan Babu, Tammareddy Bharadwaja, Muralimohan.

As news of the film veteran’s demise spread, a spate of condolences poured in. Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan said the industry had lost an artiste who had shown the heights one could reach through hard work and discipline. Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah said Rao was a veteran actor and producer who left an indelible mark in the industry.

Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy described Nageswara Rao as a legend while Mr. Chandrababu Naidu recalled Rao’s services to the film industry and how he stole his way into people’s hearts for over seven decades.

Union Minister of State D. Purandeswari, daughter of NTR, recalled how their families were closely associated with each other. Union Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi paid his respects along with his family at the Jubilee Hills residence of Nageswara Rao and described him as a great actor and a wonderful human being.

Lok Satta Party’s national president Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said “Akkineni’s life and career spanned the most important phase in the evolution of our society. His life and work should be celebrated and not mourned”.

Several others expressed their condolences and they were Chairman of the A.P. Legislative Council A. Chakrapani, Rajya Sabha Member T. Subbarami Reddy, Ministers D.K. Aruna, J. Geeta Reddy, Botcha Satyanarayana, Anam Ramnayarayana Reddy, Vatti Vasant Kumar and Danam Nagender and the Official Languages Commission Chairman Mandali Buddha Prasad. Karnataka Minister for Women & Child Development Umashree also sent her condolences.

BJP leaders M. Venkaiah Naidu, Bandaru Dattatreya, Bangaru Laxman G. Kishan Reddy, TDP leaders Y.S. Chowdary, Leader of Opposition in the Council, Y. Ramakrishnudu, State secretaries of CPI(M) B.V. Raghavulu and of CPI K. Narayana and former MP Kambhampati Rammohan too condoled the death.

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