Chiranjeevi's supporters unhappy over merger with Congress

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Rajahmundry:  Kota feels let down that Chiranjeevi decided to merge his Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress. This humble homemaker in Dowleswaram near Rajahmundry was among the seventy lakh people who voted for Chiranjeevi and his slogan of social justice in the 2009 elections.

"We have always loved Chiranjeevi and were happy that he started a party after his film career and we voted for him. But now he has joined the Congress while we wanted him to lead a separate party", said a disappointed Kota.

Kota is just one among the several thousands who supported the Telugu megastar when he launched his Praja Rajyam Party and made him a important regional player to reckon with.

In East Godavari, that boasts of the maximum number of Chiranjeevi fans, the dominant mood seems to be of disappointment even though both the megastar and the Congress are keen to project it as a win-win situation.

Srinivas Rao, President, Chiranjeevi Fans Association said, "In coastal Andhra, people treat Chiru like God. They have lot of affection for him. People thought he will serve people instead of working under someone else's leadership. It will take time for people to digest this."

While Chiranjeevi will hope the disappointment will only be a temporary setback, Jaganmohan Reddy is hoping to cash in on this very disillusionment. He is on a three-day padayatra for the Polavaram project, which is intrinsically linked with the fortunes of farmers here. The locals too are willing to support Jagan just for the sheer love and respect for his late father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

"Jagan will win. People will vote just seeing his father's face. He gave two kilograms rice, Arogyasree card and helped every section of people", said Sheikh Ali, a retired government employee.

Historically, whoever has won the electoral battle in East and West Godavari districts has gone on to form the government in Hyderabad. Hence, the Congress has enough reason to worry with the kind of response Jagan is generating here, more so, since this region is the stronghold of Chiranjeevi.


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