Manchu Vishnu was elected president of Movie Artistes Association in a fierce contest between panels headed by Vishnu and Prakash Raj on Sunday. Vishnu defeated Prakash Raj.
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Vishnu's panel also bagged four posts of office-bearers comprising general secretary Y. Raghubabu, vice-president Madala Ravi, joint secretary Gautam Raju and treasurer M. Siva Balaji. Raghu Babu defeated Jeevitha Rajasekhar by seven votes to become general secretary and Srikanth of Prakash Raj panel defeated Babu Mohan for the post of executive vice-president. Other winners in Prakash Raj's panel were Banerjee as the second vice-president and Uttej as joint secretary.
The election was culmination of six weeks of intense campaigning and frequent exchange of serious charges by both panels. As many as 665 out of 883 eligible voters participated in the voting by ballot at a school premises in Jubilee Hills where the police made strict security arrangements. Movie buffs gathered near the school in large numbers to take selfies with the actors.
Members of rival panels entered into a scuffle after Prakash Raj’s supporters canvassed inside the polling centre. Vishnu’s father Mohan Babu expressed anger. Siva Balaji and Hema who contested against each other were also involved in a tussle. The returning officer extended the polling by one hour as a large number of voters were still waiting in queue at the expiry of deadline at 2 p.m.
Prominent among actors who did not vote as they were preoccupied with shooting or other reasons were Mahesh Babu, Prabhas, Rana, Jr NTR, Venkatesh, Naga Chaitanya, Allu Arjun and Allu Sirish, Ravi Teja, Vijay Devarakonda, Anushka, Rakul Preet, Iliana, Trisha, Hansika and Niharika.
Chiranjeevi, Pawan Kalyan, Balakrishna, Jayaprada and all other stars took part. Genelia came from Mumbai to cast her vote. She said Telugu film industry was her home.