Chiru begins bus yatra to revive career

On Wednesday, the actor-turned-politician set off on a 11-day ‘bus yatra which will pass  through five coastal districts that are political and commercial hubs. The main goal of the yatra, according to his party, is to pressurise the Centre to fund the Polavaram irrigation project. He believes that the state government with a near-empty exchequer is not in a position to continue the project unless the Centre steps in, grants it ‘national status’ and funds it.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu have made similar demands. Chiranjeevi’s aim is to consolidate his position not just as a politician but as one who supports a unified state. Should the state be bifurcated, he will position himself as an important contender to lead the coastal Andhra people.

Although the main purpose of the yatra is to educate the people regarding Polavaram project, Chiranjeevi is pushing the unified Andhra line in his speeches and confronting the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) which is for a separate Telangana state.

He criticises the TRS for invoking Telangana statehood issue only for political reasons and doing nothing to develop the region although the party shared power both in the state and at the Centre.  Chiranjeevi believes it is important to educate people about the project since many farmers will lose their land.

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