Chiranjeevi launches new party 'Praja Rajyam'

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Tirupati, Aug 26 (UNI) Vowing to weed out corruption and bring about a clean and effective political movement, Telugu superstar-turned-politician Chiranjeevi today launched his new political party in filmi style before a sea of humanity in this temple town and named it 'Praja Rajyam' .

Chiranjeevi thus became the second matinee idol to plunge into politics from the Telugu film industry after former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N T Rama Rao, who had launched Telugu Desam in January 1983 and swept to power in record nine-month time.

The megastar had formally announced his entry into politics at a press conference in Hyderabad in his party office last week.

Chiranjeevi launched his party amid a stampede and stray unruly scenes at the historical Avilala Tank bed which has witnessed the all India Congress session where the country was put on the reforms path more than 16 years ago.

The actor unveiled through a physically challenged fan the Sun-enblazoned white-green party flag promising clean and good governance amid bursting of crackers and a pledge to provide opportunities to poor agriculturists, laboures, women and the youth.

With the launch of his new party in the political firmament of Andhra Pradesh, the actor chose to start off with sensitive issues of Telangana, classification of Dalits and the Naxalite problem and barely touching upon major human development and social issues without detailing them with specific plans which are dogging the Rajasekhara Reddy's government and the TDP predecessor N Chandrababu Naidu.

Even as the actor conceded that there was a deep sentiment running among the people of Telangana, the youth will review with experts and would make a scientific assessment of the SC categorisation issue.

The Naxalite problem, he said, is related to poverty and would need a thorough re-assessement for a solution.

True to his political audience, the actor, dressed in his signature forearm-rolled white shirt and deep brown trousers, said he was committed to the unity of backward classes, especially the youth who would be provided gainful employement.

Brushing aside criticism by his political rivals of his inexperience, Chiranjeevi said he chose to ignore them and reply them with more service to the people, for which his new party will be committed.

Justifying the launch of the new party, he said the political platform was started to accentuate social service for the past 25 years. ''A political party is for service and not for power,'' he said and the party flag was the replica of the efforts for service like the blazing Sun which was an emblem to serve the people round the clock. The large portion of white background of the flage was for a clean public image and the ribboned green beneath was for its party commitment to the environment and the farming sector.

Saying the party would be democratic, he scoffed at rivals' criticism that it was the party of the family and exhibited his talent to ask the large gathering to suggest the name of the 'new party as the party by you'.

The actor ambled on the makeshift dais on the tank bed with the backdrop of huge LCD screen, gathered opinion and named the party at 1820 hrs digitally and hoisted the flag 40 minutes later with grand show on the screen.

EDS: pick up suitably from earlier series UNI DB/KNR/AP PD NS2300

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