Venkateswara Function Hall on the Cinema Road was buzzing with activity from the morning hours of Friday. And when Pawan Kalyan started making his speech at a star hotel in Hyderabad in the evening, the crowds went delirious watching live the launch of the political party by their favourite hero. “He has a good image among youngsters, women and the middle class sections. Mr. Kalyan is going to contest from Kakinada Parliament seat and his victory is going to be a cakewalk,” said Chintakayala Chinni, president of the Kakinada City Pawan Kalyan Fans’ Association.

Not leaving at that, Mr. Chinni further said: Mr. Kalyan’s image is different from that of Chiranjeevi. He can convince people through his thought-provoking speeches.

But, not all the locals, particularly students, share his views. Especially K. Venkatesh, an engineering graduate. “I am a die-hard fan of Mr. Kalyan but I don’t want him to dirty his hands by entering politics. Instead of floating a party, I wish he extends support to parties like the Lok Satta,” Venkatesh reasoned. Pothula Viswam, chairman of Rajiv Gandhi Group of Educational Institutions, who is in the election arena representing the Telugu Desam Party, refuses to comment on Mr. Kalyan’s party. “It is too early to comment on the new party,” he said. But taking pot-shots at the actor, Mr. Viswam said: “At a time when the entire region has to be rebuilt from scratch, capable and experienced leadership is the need of the hour.” Union Minister M.M. Pallam Raju is presently representing the Kakinada Parliamentary constituency and is likely to contest on Congress ticket this election too. Chalamalasetti Sunil, who gave a tough fight to Mr. Raju in the 2009 elections, is entering the fray from the YSR Congress Party.