Abdul Kalam inspired me to join politics: Chiranjeevi

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Hyderabad, Aug 18: Drawing inspiration from former President A P J Abdul Kalam and in deference to the wishes of people from various walks of life, Telugu matinee idol Chiranjeevi today announced his entry into politics, ending prolonged suspense for his admirers.

Fielding a volley of questions at his maiden press conference like a seasoned politician, he said he would give priority to pro-poor policies and ensure social and political justice to all sections of the society.Asserting that political vacuum existed in the state, he emphatically said people were looking for a change. ''People have encouraged my versatile roles. In my new role, there is no scope for acting. I will live in that role to serve the people and tackle their problems, the 53-year-old actor said.

He said the new outfit's name, flag and agenda would be announced at a public meeting in Tirupati on August 26, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mother Teresa, from whom he drew inspiration for his social service activities.

To a question, he said it was too early to decide on the Assembly seat, which he would contest, or the number of seats his party would win.

It was former President A P J Abdul Kalam who inspired him to make a foray into politics. Other leaders who inspired him included actor-turned politician N T Rama Rao, architect of the Constitution B R Ambedkar and social reformer Jyothirao Phule.

''I would have committed a historical blunder had I not entered politics,'' Chiranjeevi said, responding to the overwhelming response from his supporters.

Meanwhile, Congress MP and former Pradesh Congress Committee President K Keshav Rao said his party would face the new party by highlighting the developmental programmes and welfare schemes launched by the Centre and the Congress Government in the state.

While Lok Satta Party President Jayaprakash Narayan welcomed Chiranjeevi's foray into politics, Nava Telangana Praja Party (NTPP) President T Devender Goud, welcoming his statement on Telangana, said ''we have to wait and watch the policies and programmes of the new outfit.'' BJP state unit President B Dattatreya reacted cautiously saying the new party was yet to announce its policies.

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