Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah on Wednesday said the continuing attacks on film shootings in and around Hyderabad by Telangana supporters may force the Telugu film industry to shift back to Chennai.
Assuring full protection, the Chief Minister urged all political parties to ensure that the industry stays in Hyderabad.
The campaign over Telangana has caused huge losses to the film industry, with thousands boycotting movies of some actors and continuing attacks on the shooting of some others opposed to Telangana’s creation.
Recalling that the Telugu film industry shifted from Chennai to Hyderabad after the formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956, Mr. Rosaiah said if it goes back, it will affect the employment opportunities of local people.
He pointed out that 70 to 80 percent of the workers in the film industry were locals.
“The hero, heroines and some other people may be from other regions (of Andhra Pradesh) but the majority of the workers are local people,” he said in an obvious reference to claims by pro-Telangana groups that the movie industry was dominated by people from coastal Andhra.
Mr. Rosaiah also termed as baseless the allegations of pro-Telangana groups that film personalities were given prime lands free of cost in and around Hyderabad.
He pointed out that lands were given to the industry as incentives as per the market rates.
The Chief Minister regretted that the shootings of actors like Mahesh Babu and Junior NTR who have said nothing on Telangana were also attacked.
Last week the protestors attacked film shootings of veteran actor-producer Mr. Mohan Babu’s son M. Manoj and actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s nephew Allu Arjun.
Both Mr. Babu and Mr. Chiranjeevi are opposing the bifurcation of the state.