Telugu film comedian actor Ali has got his reward for the work he did for the YSR Congress party in the run-up to the elections. He has been appointed as the Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Film Development Corporation (APFDC). In the process, he warded off stiff competition from Jayasudha, Jeevitha, Rajasekhar and Mohan Babu who were the other film personalities who joined the YSRCP ahead of polls.
Not many in Tollywood have embraced the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh. Pruthvi Raj, another actor, was named as the head of the Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel run by the TTD in Tirumala.
Ali, who has acted in over 1000 movies in Telugu, Hindi and Tamil has had a rather eventful innings in the YSRCP. Soon after he joined hands with Jaganmohan Reddy, Pawan Kalyan, his co-actor in several movies, claimed that Ali had deserted him and his party, the Jana Sena. Pawan said he had stood by Ali in his times of hardship and bemoaned that the actor had sacrificed their friendship for political gains.
“If your fear that Pawan Kalyan will not win and Jagan will?” Pawan had asked at a public meeting in Rajahmundry.
In response, Ali said he reserved the right to join any political party he wished to. He also denied having sought or received any help from anyone.
“Have you given me any money? Have you given me any film opportunities when I did not have any? I was in a good position even before you came into the film world. I have never asked anyone for help when I was in trouble. If there comes such a time, I will rather die,” said Ali, adding that he was hurt by Pawan’s words.
Ali’s big responsibility will be to develop the film industry in Andhra Pradesh given the fact that after bifurcation, Tollywood has stayed put in Hyderabad and not shown any keenness in looking at Visakhapatnam as an attractive film destination. Chandrababu Naidu was keen on developing Vizag as a film base for the Telugu film industry.