New Delhi: He cruised up touching the sky in the tinsel town like a powerful rocket, but when Chiranjeevi replaced the engine of cinema with rustic politics, it was not smooth sailing for him. In the end, like any other Indian blockbuster, hero Chiranjeevi emerged the winner by finding himself in the Union
Council of Ministers, which was expanded on Sunday, after spending almost two full years in political hibernation. He was inducted as Minister of State (Independent charge) Tourism.
The superstar, who entertained millions of young men, women, children and old alike through his inimitable style whose mantra only he knows, left his lucrative career to test his fortunes in politics at the age of 53 in 2008. His journey in politics was not a bed of roses but was filled with thorns which the actor, who had not tasted failure at the box office for years together, could not swallow it like he did success.
A Padma Bhushan awardee, he has acted in 148 films in his three-decade long career and is among the highest paid actors in the country.
In less than year after launching his party, his outfit contested state elections only to win less than 20 seats with Chiranjeevi himself losing one assembly seat of the two he contested. Widely perceived as the only person who could recreate the magic of NTR, the legendary whose star power catapulted
him to the Chief Minister's post in just nine months after his plunge in politics, Chiranjeevi was not bestowed with a magic wand.
With his prediction going haywire, Chiranjeevi stood isolated in politics with no friends to guide him and was forced to walk on the fire that eventually took a cinematic turn - his infant party was dissolved in a split second and merged with Congress, which was the prime enemy when he took a plunge in politics. From February 2011 to October 2012, Chiranjeevi was almost in oblivion except when he ventured out for a couple of rare meetings with Sonia Gandhi.
Now, after 19 months, the hero is back with a vengeance. He is a Union Minister and with the Congress strongly believing that he is a force to reckon with in Andhra Pradesh, Chiranjeevi faces an arduous task of proving his mettle in
politics. Hailing from an obscure village in coastal Andhra Pradesh, Chiranjeevi's transition from a villain to a popular hero, whose dancing skills sent raptures in theatres for over two decades, was indeed breathtaking.
Chiranjeevi attaining stardom and to a career in politics was akin to his action-filled blockbusters. A Padma Bhushan awardee, he has acted in 148 films in his three-decade long career and is among the highest paid actors in the country. His success in Tollywood, traditionally dominated by a handful of powerful families, was meteoric as he had no family connection.
Born on Aug 22, 1955 in Mogalturu, a remote village in the coastal district of West Godavari, Chiranjeevi's original name was Konidela Siva Shankara Varaprasad. Eldest of three sons of an excise constable, he attended schools in five different places in the district because of his father's frequent transfers. After graduating in commerce from Narasapur College, he moved to Chennai to seek a career in the film industry and joined a film institute in 1977.