HYDERABAD: The flip flop by Praja Rajyam on the issue of separate Telangana invited wild protests within and outside the party on Wednesday, leading to disruption in the screening of ‘Arya -2’ movie in several towns of the region and in the State capital.
Scores of party leaders and activists rushed here from various districts and threatened to quit Praja Rajyam after television channels began running news scrolls that the Praja Rajyam had shifted its stand in favour of an integrated State and that its president Chiranjeevi would participate in a hunger strike in support of the demand at Tirupati on Thursday. A small crowd, including students of Osmania University, also staged a dharna in front of the party office until the arrival of police.
The two MLAs of Praja Rajyam in Telangana, A. Anil and Maheshwar Reddy, and at least half-a-dozen district presidents of the party announced their decision to resign if the news was true. However, Chiranjeevi was said to have denied the shift in stand and advised them not to resort to the step when they met him at his residence later. He expressed surprise at the news and assured them that he would take them into confidence if there was any such proposal, the leaders told reporters after the meeting.
The official spokesman of PR D. Shravan Kumar felt Chiranjeevi might be under pressure from leaders of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts where the party polled 24 per cent votes and won 16 of the 18 seats to its credit.
A senior leader of PR had tipped off TV channels late on Tuesday night stating that Chiranjeevi was advised to change the stand and that the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the party would take a decision in this regard on Wednesday. However, there was no official word till the evening though the committee was said to have met.
Theatres playing the film that stars Allu Arjun, a nephew of Praja Rajyam president Chiranjeevi, became targets of Telangana supporters simultaneously. They shut down the theatres and also tore and burnt its posters. The effigies of Chiranjeevi were burnt in the premises of Priya theatre in Kamareddy and at Nakrekal in Nalgonda district. The protestors asked the audience to leave after closing three cinema halls in Warangal town. A flag post of Praja Rajyam was damaged in Zaheerabad.
Khammam Special Correspondent writes: A theatre exhibiting ‘ Arya 2’ a movie starred by Allu Arjun was target by the activists of the TRS and the ABVP in Palvanca town on Wednesday. They set ablaze the flex posters put up by the fans and stormed into Venkateswara theater chanting pro-Telangana slogans.
They demanded the theatre management not to exhibit the movie and forced to suspend all the day time shows. Another theater exhibiting the same movie in Khammam stopped it as a precautionary measure. However, the fans of Allu Arjun insisted on exhibiting the movie.
Medak Staff Reporter writes: PR district convenor P. Shivakumar camped at party office at Hyderabad and announced his decision of quitting the party after discussing with Chiranjeevi. “The entire district unit has resigned. PR had already lost leaders like G. Election Reddy from Gajwel and Vijayapal Reddy from Narayanakhed.