Hyderabad : Telugu superstar-turned-politician K. Chiranjeevi Wednesday began a new innings in his career when he entered the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly as a member.
Elected from Tirupati constituency, the Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) president entered the premises of the assembly to a warm welcome by his party colleagues.
However, his entry was also marked by protest from a former PRP leader Masala Eranna, who had quit the party before elections to protest the denial of ticket. Police later whisked away Eranna when he was trying to enter the house raising slogans of “Chiranjeevi down down”.
Clad in white with a green scarf, Chiranjeevi, the floor leader of PRP, took oath as member of the 13th legislative assembly, whose first session began with members taking oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India and vowed to abide by the assembly rules.
The 53-year-old Chiranjeevi, who launched PRP in August last year after a three-decade long successful film career, took oath in Telugu amid thumping of desks by his party legislators.
Before entering the house, the actor told reporters that his party would play the role of a constructive opposition and take up people’s issues in the house.
Though claiming to be a strong contender for power, PRP finished a poor third with 18 seats in 294-member assembly in April elections. Chiranjeevi himself lost the polls from Palacole in his native West Godavari district, though he was elected from temple town of Tirupati.
Bureaucrat-turned-politician Jayaprakash Narayan also made a beginning as the state legislator. The Lok Satta president was elected from Kukatpally constituency in the state capital on the slogan of clean politics.
Though Jayaprakash Narayan was the only Lok Satta candidate elected, the party made an impressive beginning by polling significant number of votes, especially in urban constituencies.
Jayaprakash Narayan, who took oath in the name of the sacred office of the legislator, had quit as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official in mid 1990s to launch Lok Satta, a movement for democratic reforms. In 2007, he turned the movement into a political party.
Earlier, the session began after state governor Narayan Dutt Tiwari administered oath to senior Congress party legislator J.C. Diwakar Reddy as protem speaker at Raj Bhavan.
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was the first to take oath as legislator followed by leader of opposition and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu.
After the two leaders, the ministers took the oath. Two out of 35 cabinet ministers could not take oath as they were away attending the last rites of newly elected Congress legislator K. Revatipathi who died Tuesday following cardiac arrest.
His death brought the strength of Congress party to 155 in 294-member house.
For the first time in its 26-year-old history, TDP is sitting in opposition for the second consecutive term. The party bagged 92 seats against 45 seats it held in the previous assembly.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) won 10 seats, down from 26 in 2004 elections. Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) improved its tally from five to seven.
Communist Party of India (CPI) won four, against six in the last elections. The strength of CPI-M came down from seven to one. BJP remained at two while three independents were also elected.