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Andhra PradeshChiranjeevi meets Jagan to end acrimony between film industry and AP govt

Chiranjeevi meets Jagan to end acrimony between film industry and AP govt

Published: 13th Jan 2022 6:14 pm

Amaravati: Telugu Megastar K Chiranjeevi had a luncheon meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy at the latter’s residence here on Thursday with the objective of containing the bad blood between the film industry and the state government over the cinema ticket pricing issue.

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Chiranjeevi flew down from Hyderabad by a chartered aircraft and drove straight from Gannavaram to Jagan’s residence at Tadepalli, where they were closeted for over two hours.

It was at the invitation of the Chief Minister that the Megastar came here as, in recent days, there had been a lot of acrimony between the Telugu film industry bigwigs and the government.

There had been a constant exchange of words between some industry people and the political leaders of the ruling YSR Congress, including some ministers, that threatened to hit the film fraternity the most.

It all started a few months with the Jagan government trying to take control of the movie business by proposing to operate an online portal for sale of cinema tickets.

The film industry was split over the issue with a major section supporting the government move and others opposing.

A months-old Government Order, wherein the state government fixed the admission rates in cinema halls based on location, surfaced suddenly a few days ago and sparked the real friction between the film industry and the government.

While the government maintained it was only following the law in the matter, the industry saw it as a clear attempt by the government to hurt it, with certain individual star heroes as the real target.

Some recent big-budget movies, which did roaring business elsewhere, paled in Andhra Pradesh because of the “ridiculously low” ticket prices.

Some moviemakers deferred release of their films because of the prevailing situation, while the third Covid-19 wave also came in as a handy excuse.

Raids on cinema halls by revenue and police authorities, sealing of the cinema halls and court litigation precipitated the issue even as a slugfest ensued between the industry people and the government side.

Against this backdrop, Chiranjeevi flew down for a dialogue with Jagan to resolve the impasse.

“The Chief Minister assured me that he will take a decision acceptable to both sides. He told me that they are reconsidering the pricing of cinema tickets,” Chiranjeevi told media, emerging out of the meeting.

“I came here not as head of the industry but as its son. The Chief Minister told me a fresh Government Order will be issued soon and I hope it will come in the next 2-3 weeks. I expect the government’s decision to be favourable to all, irrespective of big or small budget movies,” the Megastar said.

Chiranjeevi, who is back and busy as a leading star in Telugu films after a stint in politics, said he explained the plight of film industry workers due to Covid-19.

“Similarly, I told him the problems being faced by cinema exhibitors. Jagan said he too appreciated the troubles of the industry but his wish was to make cinema affordable to all. I liked it,” Chiranjeevi added.

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