Amid a raging row between Andhra Pradesh government and Tollywood over movie ticket prices, megastar Chiranjeevi called on Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday.
On the invitation of the Chief Minister, Chiranjeevi had a meeting with him over lunch at the latter’s official residence at Tadepalli here.
After reaching Gannavaram airport by a special flight from Hyderabad, the popular actor and former Central minister drove straight to the CM’s house.
After the meeting that lasted for one-and-a-half hour, the actor told reporters at the airport that Reddy responded positively to the issues raised by him on behalf of the film industry, exhibitors and theatre owners.
Terming the meeting fruitful, Chiranjeevi hoped that all the problems will be solved soon in a manner acceptable to all.
Chiranjeevi said the Chief Minister assured him that a mutually acceptable decision will be taken.
Chiranjeevi quoted Reddy as saying that he will not take any one-sided decision. The CM also assured that nobody needs to feel insecure.
Reddy told Chiranjeevi that he will convey the issues raised by him to the committee constituted by the government, and a draft will be prepared following which Chiranjeevi he will be invited again for consultation before the issuance of a government order.
The actor said he would discuss the draft with all the stakeholders in the industry, and he would be happy to take them along to meet the Chief Minister next time.
Chiranjeevi also appealed to all in the industry to avoid issuing statements on the issue. “I am making a request not as an industry elder, but as a son of the industry,” he said.
The meeting and Chiranjeevi’s appeal came amid a bitter war of words between some Tollywood personalities and Cinematography Minister Perni Nani and leaders of the ruling YSR Congress party.
Several producers, actors, exhibitors and theatre owners have slammed the state government for slashing movie ticket prices, which has led to the closure of some cinemas.
Chiranjeevi said he apprised Reddy of the concerns of all in the wake of the uncertainty prevailing for the last few months.
He said Reddy invited him as he wanted to hear the other side of the story.
While appreciating the government’s intention to make entertainment affordable for the common man, Chiranjeevi put forward the problems of the film industry, exhibitors, theatre owners and others.
“The film industry is not just glamour or rosy as it appears. There is hard work of many workers behind it. Majority of them work on daily wages,” he said.
The actor recalled that during the pandemic, many workers suffered a lot for four months as they did not get any work.
He said that similarly, workers in theatres are worried over losing their jobs due to closures.
He claimed that the Chief Minister also responded positively for allowing theatres to have a fifth show on special occasions.
Chiranjeevi said he gave constructive suggestions and the Chief Minister wrote down some points. He hoped that a draft will come in a week or 10 days while a final government order will be issued in 2-3 weeks.