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Superstar Chiranjeevi still coy about joining politics
Hyderabad, Jan 4 Continuing the suspense over his entry into Andhra Pradesh politics, Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi has said that he needs more time to take a decision while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which is gearing up to make a foray into state politics, claimed that his younger brother Pavan Kalyan held talks with party leaders.
The top actor in Telugu films still appears undecided on whether to take a plunge into politics. But his advisers have dropped many hints that it is only a matter of time before he floats his own party.
Chiranjeevi, who usually avoids talking about politics, discussed the subject with some journalists late Thursday on the occasion of a ceremony to mark the 11th day since the death of his father K. Venkata Rao.
The actor said since he had been preoccupied after his father's death, he had no opportunity to mull the question of entering into politics.
He said: "I have not given a thought to it. I need some more time."
When told that a large number of leaders of different groups were waiting for him to launch a party, he said: "Are they reading my mind"?
This was the first time that Chiranjeevi spoke to the media after one of his close aides claimed last month that he had decided to launch a political party. The speculations had led to his fans holding meetings in different parts of the state, urging him to make an early announcement.
Chiranjeevi, however, came out with a statement appealing to his fans to remain patient and await his announcement.
While the actor was still evasive Thursday, his brother-in-law and advisor Allu Arvind was more forthcoming.
"We are at a railway platform. We are waiting for a train that will take us to the right destination," he said.
When asked about speculations that the actor could join an emerging political group like the BSP, he said: "We will not catch any train that passes by".
Asked if he feels that there is a political space for Chiranjeevi, Allu Arvind said: "There is space in people's minds".
The speculations over Chiranjeevi launching a political party led to parallels being drawn with thespian N.T. Rama Rao's entry into politics in 1982. However, some people feel that NTR, who came to power nine months after launching the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), succeeded because there was no strong opposition to the Congress party before that.
Pavan Kalyan said his elder brother was already serving society through various activities. "But people expect more from him," he said.
He denied reports that he was planning to join the BSP and had already held talks with the party's state leadership.
"I have not met anybody. I will stand by my brother whether it is launching a new party or stepping up social activities," he said.
BSP state president N. Surya Prakash, however, insists that Pavan Kalyan met him and other leaders to express his willingness to join the party in case Chiranjeevi decides against floating a new party. To prove their claim, the party leaders also released photographs of the actor's meeting with them.
BSP chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is arriving here Saturday to announce the party's foray into state politics. She is scheduled to address a public meeting here Sunday and leaders of some parties are expected to formally join the BSP in her presence.
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