Hyderabad: Bringing to the streets what lies beneath all the glitz and glamour, Tollywood celebrities are getting embroiled in a pitched battle, sans makeup and restraint. An unprecedented intense campaign, marked by bitter debates and wild allegations, is gathering steam ahead of the forthcoming Movie Artistes Association (MAA) election.
The election, which for the first time perhaps is multi-cornered and with a galaxy of stars, has names, including Prakash Raj, Manchu Vishnu, Hema, Jeevitha Rajashekhar and CVL Narasimha Rao in the fray for the president post. Away from the silver screen, it is on Twitter, Facebook and television channels where the campaign is on.
While Prakash Raj’s hard-hitting speech made heads turn, more recently Manchu Vishnu’s promise to pay for the construction of a permanent building for MAA has upped the curiosity quotient. However, not everyone is happy with the way the campaign is progressing. Film producer D Suresh Babu, speaking to a TV channel, expressed his helplessness over the controversies in the industry.
“The industry has been like a family, but matters get worse if such squabbles go out into the media. I am not aware whether it is being done intentionally or accidentally. There’s no need to go out and talk. But if somebody wants to go out and talk, it is his right, I don’t dispute,” he said, adding that it is better to iron out the differences within the industry.
Nandamuri Balakrishna, responding to the campaign on a channel, had another view. “It is pointless to debate and discuss the MAA elections, giving importance as much as we give for American elections or general elections in India.” Dubbing it ‘non-significant’, he also posed a question “where the money raised through fundraising trips to other countries had gone”. Stating that building a structure for movie artistes wouldn’t be a big task if the industry stood as one, he said he wouldn’t care who was local and non-local when it came to actors contesting for the MAA president post.
Senior actor Nagababu, talking to a YouTube channel, said though there was talk of a permanent structure for MAA since Murali Mohan’s stint as president, none of the subsequent presidents seriously worked for a building, and MAA continued to function in a small chamber. On Manchu Vishnu’s promise, he wanted to know from where Vishnu would get land if he had plans to construct a permanent building.
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