The Film Artists Association (MAA) is a small association for Telugu film artists working in Tollywood. The association consists of approximately 900 members. For every two years, the association goes for an election to select its executive committee members which include a President, Executive Vice President, General Secretary, Treasurer, and Executive members. The election is set to take place on October 10th, 2021 and the voting battle has been exciting as never before.
Senior actor Naresh is the current president of the association and as his term is coming to an end, members chose an election. The election is usually held unanimously but this time, with multiple artists announcing their participation in the polls, the association decided to go for the election. The last time the election was held was when Rajendra Prasad and Jayasudha contested for the post of President. Rajendra Prasad’s panel won the election.
After Rajendra Prasad, Sivaji Raja is unanimously elected President and then Naresh later took office.
Now, the big fight is between Prakash Raj and Manchu Vishnu.
Prakash Raj who bought the hype for the elections in MAA. Prakash Raj confirmed his participation in MAA Elections from early this year. During the Vakeel Saab promotions, Prakash Raj attracted everyone by commenting on the association and thus confirmed his candidacy for the post of President.
The MAA elections were due to take place in the first half of this year but due to the COVID-second wave, the association postponed the election. The postponement has annoyed Prakash Raj who publicly criticized the outgoing president Naresh for allegedly cooking up a conspiracy against him. Naresh confronted Prakash Raj too publicly and gradually the heat subsided.
With the entry of Manchu Vishnu, the heat of the election went to the next level. According to Vishnu, he never wanted to contest the election but a couple of senior actors in the film industry called him up and asked him to compete as the President who changed his mind. There were media reports that Mohan Babu was not interested in allowing Vishnu to contest the election initially but an event changed his mind as well. As reported in the media, Chiranjeevi who is supporting Prakash Raj called Mohan Babu and asked him to convince Vishnu to withdraw his participation from the polls. Mohan Babu did not like it and decided to extend his full support to the son.
Jeevitha Rajasekhar who was the society’s Secretary General in the previous term also wanted to compete for the post of President. Jeevitha wanted a female artist to represent the society and announced her candidacy. He won immediate support from Naresh and others. However, in the midst of high drama, Jeevitha Rajasekhar joined the Prakash Raj panel and will contest for the Secretary General again.
Artist Hema also wanted to compete for the position of President. She is an active member of the society who has worked at various levels over the years. Hema publicly criticized Naresh and accused him of abusing his power. The disciplinary committee, headed by senior UV artist Krishnam Raju, immediately issued a demonstration case notice to Hema. Later, the matter was tracked on the side and he joined the Manchu Vishnu panel.
Therefore, Jeevitha and Hema withdrew their participation in the post of President and joined various panels.
Telangana CVL senior artist and advocate Narasimha Rao also came forward to compete for the post of President with the feel of Telangana as his agenda. With the support of the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP), he campaigned aggressively for his panel. However, within a few hours of filing his nomination, CVL surprised everyone by withdrawing his nomination. He later gave some lame reasons for it and criticized Prakash Raj as unfit to be the President of the MAA.
In between all of this, Bandla Ganesh made a cameo appearance. Ganesh was initially promised a key position in the Prakash Raj panel but with Jeevitha Rajasekhar’s record, equations changed. Prakash Raj failed to keep his promise to Ganesh and was disappointed. Ganesh announced his participation in the opinion polls as the Secretary General as an Independent candidate. However, he withdrew his nomination at the request of some biggies and wisecracks from the film industry. He now supports Prakash Raj.
During the pre-liberation Republic event, Pawan Kalyan dragged Mohan Babu to his personal rivalry with the YSRCP government. Taking advantage of the same, Vishnu sent a signal to the artists that he stands with Tollywood while Pawan Kalyan is not in favor of Telugu Cinema. He also used it as a tool to criticize Prakash Raj that the senior actor is not on Tollywood side but with Pawan Kalyan.
Megastar Chiranjeevi did not officially confirm his support for Prakash Raj but mega brother Naga Babu attended a couple of press interactions along with the Prakash Raj panel. Naga Babu openly admitted that the entire mega family including Megastar Chiranjeevi will support Prakash Raj. Naga Babu also made some sensible comments by drawing comparisons with Prakash Raj and Kota Srinivasa Rao who did not go well with the average audiences. The exact same Naga Babu had to delete his earlier tweets on Prakash Raj where the actor criticized Badri for criticizing Pawan Kalyan.
Ever since the MAA election notice came out, numerous allegations and controversies have emerged in the media. For the first time, the artists held several press meetings to criticize the members of the panel opposite. They even attended many TV channel debates.
Prakash Raj and his supporters claimed that Mohan Babu was helping Vishnu with their influence by attracting the voters. Prakash Raj even complained against Vishnu that Mohan Babu had bribed the postal votes of many senior artists including Krishnam Raju, Krishna, Paruchuri Brothers, and others. However, Vishnu issued clarification on the same. Prakash Raj even criticized Manchu Vishnu saying that the young hero lacks accurate knowledge of the Telugu language. Prakash also said that Vishnu’s film budget is equal to Pawan Kalyan’s first morning show collection.
On the other hand, the Manchu Vishnu panel initially fought with Prakash Raj saying he was non-local. The panel later started attacking Prakash Raj who never voted in the election and is not an active member of the society. They also discussed the earlier arguments in which Prakash Raj was involved. From being arrogant and late to the sets to accusing the people on the sets, the panel brought many issues to the media.
In the midst of all this, both panels made their agenda clear. A common agenda is to build a permanent building for the MAA.
The Mega family supports Prakash Raj and everyone who likes the Mega family will also cast their vote for the senior actor. On the other hand, the older actors like Superstar Krishna, Murali Mohan, Chalapathi Rao, Giri Babu, and the young heroes are inclined towards Vishnu. It’s definitely going to be a tough fight.
Election Time and Location: Jubilee Hills Public School, Hyderabad between 8 AM and 2 PM
Date of Account: October 11th, 2021
Mode: Paper Vote
Prakash Raj Panel
Manchu Vishnu Panel