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'Chiranjeevi is the next Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh'

By Vicky Nanjappa
April 11, 2009 14:57 IST
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The Praja Rajyam Party, headed by mega star Chiranjeevi, is doing everything in the book to bag the magic number and form the government in Andhra Pradesh.

The rumour mills doing the rounds suggest that the party may not be able to bag the majority and could enter into an alliance with the Congress and form the government. However, every member in the party denies it and seems confident of bagging the magic number and installing mega star Chiranjeevi as the next Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.'s Vicky Nanjappa spoke with party's general secretary P T Vikram who has been touring the state extensively with the star.

Excerpts from the interview:

What are the prospects of the party? Will the PRP do well or is it just a hype?

The prospects are good.  It is not only about the hype. The final tally will answer your question. We are confident of a comfortable majority and we will form the government in the state.

There are rumours of a secret pact with the Congress after the polls. Could you throw more light on that?

My previous answer clearly stated that we would get the majority. When that is the case, where is the question of an alliance? There is no secret talk of an alliance and neither will there be any. Chiranjeevi is the next Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

What about the Lok Sabha polls? What about the alliances at the national level?

We have not taken any decision on that as yet. The party is very clear that it will speak of alliances in the national level only after the elections. We need to think about an alliance at the Centre with a lot of thought and care. However let me tell you that the main criteria while entering into an alliance will the interest of the state. Whoever can guarantee us that will be our friend.

Tell us about your party's stand on Telangana.

We were the first to spell out our stand on Telangana. We are aware of the peoples' sentiment and the problems that they face. What we had spoken of is a social Telangana.

Apart from Telangana what else will your party offer?

Our prime focus is on the essential commodities scheme. Besides, we offer other subsidies.

Chiranjeevi is the biggest star of recent times. He, it seems, can win  elections riding on his popularity. But, even he is banking on the caste vote and especially from his own community, the Kapus?

To a certain extent, there has been a polarization of votes. But to say that he is relying only on the votes of the Kapus is extremely unfair. Our leader has a mass image which cuts across the entire state. Take a look at the response he generates and this will prove to you that he has a vote share everywhere irrespective of caste and regions.

The youth and the women seem to be more interested in him. Is that enough for you to win the elections?

Yes, the women and the youth have been his major strength and a majority of their support is coming his way. But that does not mean the rest of people are not with him.

Could you compare him with the late N T Rama Rao.

(Laughs) What kind of a question is that? I would say that there is no comparison. Each one has his unique style and both are great in their own respect. But I would like to say that as of now and in the present context Chiranjeevi enjoys more popularity.

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Vicky Nanjappa