Tollywood superstar Akkineni Nagarjuna has made it clear that neither he nor any of his family members are interested in joining politics. He also said that he would not canvass on behalf of any political party.
However, Nagarjuna admitted that he was also hit by the nation-wide "Modi wave". Hence, he met with BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad and visited a model village, Punsari, in the state on 24 March.
Speculations were rife over Nagarjuna's entry into politics on the back of the actor's meeting with Modi. There were media reports that Nagarjuna went to meet Modi to seek a BJP ticket for his wife Amala Akkineni to contest from Vijayawada in the ensuing general election.
But soon after meeting Modi, Nagarjuna clarified that he did not meet the BJP leader for a ticket for him or for any of his family members to contest elections to Lok Sabha or the Andhra Pradesh State assembly.
"I came to meet Narendra Modi to exchange ideas. There is no political agenda. I am neither a politician nor does my family have any such interests," Deccan Chronicle quoted Nagarjuna. But he stressed he was impressed by the development Gujarat has made under Modi as Chief Minister.
Nagarjuna also said that he wishes that Modi would become the next prime minister of India and extend Gujarat-type development all over India, said reports in the local media.
Before meeting Modi, Nagarjuna visited model village Punsari in the Sabarkantha district in Gujarat. Nagarjuna said that he was impressed by the uninterrupted power supply and the wi-fi internet facility Punsar has. The actor stays in Hyderabad, which faces a three-hour power disruption on a daily basis, whereas villages in Gujarat are getting uninterrupted supply, he said.
Punsari has an internet connection at ₹10 per month, clean drinking water supply of 20 litres for ₹6, public address system for the villagers for better communication and training facilities in vocational trades for the unemployed, he added.
Nagarjuna, son of late thespian Akkineni Nageswara Rao, wanted to develop his ancestors' native village Venkataraghavapuram in the Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh. The actor shared his intention to develop Venkataraghavapuram with the Gujarat CM.
Modi has assured Nagarjuna about sending technical experts who could help install solar-based electricity generation facility to meet the power needs of the village with a population of 600. Modi also advised the actor to start a branch of his film training institute in Gujarat. Nagarjuna runs a training institute in Hyderabad, which is affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU).
Nagarjuna said he visited Gujarat and met Modi on the invitation of BJP veteran leader M Venkaiah Naidu.
Jana Sena founder and another leading Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan also met Modi last Friday and extended his support.