Top Telugu stars face ire of pro-Telangana groups

Top Telugu stars face ire of pro-Telangana groups

With leading lights of Telugu cinema joining the bandwagon for ''United  Andhra'', Telanagana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and student groups have "banned" the screening of films starring them or their family members across the region.

Actor-turned-politician K Chiranjeevi is facing the ire of pro-Telangana groups for his volte-face on Telangana issue.

With the actor deciding to oppose the division of the state, protestors in  Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana region stopped the screening of films of his son and other family members.

The films of veteran actor-producers Mohan Babu and N Harikrishna and  their family members are also being targeted after they joined the "United  Andhra" movement.

With almost all the top film personalities coming from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, the Telugu film industry, the second biggest after Bollywood, is facing the threat of a total boycott in Telangana.

Alarmed over the developments, the industry has postponed release of films scheduled for this month and early January.

It all started Wednesday when Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) floated by  Chiranjeevi decided to reverse its stand for a separate Telangana state.

Bowing to pressure from 14 legislators of the party who have already submitted their resignations to the assembly speaker, Chiranjeevi decided to quit and join the "United Andhra" movement.

PRP has 18 legislators in the 294-member assembly and 16 of them including  Chiranjeevi come from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

The superstar overnight became a villain for pro-Telangana groups as they burnt his effigies and attacked theatres showing films of his son Ram Charan Teja and nephew Allu Arjun.

Theatres in several districts stopped screening of "Arya" starring Allu Arjun on their own. Allu Arjun is the son of PRP general secretary Allu Aravind, who is also a film producer and brother-in-law of Chiranjeevi.

Films of Chiranjeevi's actor brothers Pavan Kalyan and Naga Babu also  face boycott in the region.

Actor Mohan Babu fasts for 'united Andhra'

Veteran Telugu actor-producer Mohan Babu on Thursday joined the movement for 'united Andhra' with a symbolic one-day fast at the temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.

Babu, who is also a former MP, launched the hunger strike at Sri Venkateshwara University Arts College in Tirupati.

Babu told reporters that he was fasting for the unity of the Telugu people. 

"People of all the three regions (coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana) are equal to me. I am for a united Andhra," he said.

Opposing the demand for separate statehood to Telangana, Babu said that Rayalaseema was more backward than the former.

The actor announced that he would visit various towns in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra to express solidarity with politicians and others sitting on hunger strike for 'united Andhra'.

Babu said he was not bothered about the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and other pro-Telangana groups stopping the screening of his son Manchu Vishnu's film "Saleem" in the region.