The Telangana issue has cast a shadow on the release of big-budget Telugu films from the Mega and Nandamuri clans.
Members of the Osmania University Telangana Joint Action Committee (OUJAC) have decided to stall the release of three films - "Thoofan" (Ram Charan Teja), "Atharintiki Daaredi" ( Pawan Kalyan) and "Ramayya Vasthavayya" (Jr NTR) - as some of their family members have publicly shown their support for Samaikyaandhra (United Andhra) as opposed to the bifurcation of the state.
Ram Charan and Pawan Kalyan belong to the Mega family. Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi ( Ram Charan's father and Pawan's brother) has suggested that Andhra's capital city Hyderabad should be made a union territory. This has not gone down well with OUJAC members who are planning to halt the release of Ram Charan's "Thoofan", a remake of Hindi film "Zanjeer" which is scheduled for release on 6 September.
There is also uncertainty over the release of Pawan's "Atharintiki Daaredi". The film was slated to hit the screens on 9 August, but the current political unrest in the state had forced the makers to indefinitely delay its release. It is not clear when the film will get released, but some reports suggest that it might hit theatres in the third week of September. An official confirmation is still awaited.
It may be recalled that "Yevadu", Ram Charan's film, was also delayed due to protests in Andhra Pradesh. The release date has been pushed to October, which paves way for an early release of the actor's other film "Thoofan".
But there is uncertainty over "Thoofan" following the decision by OUJAC to protest against the release of the big-ticket films. Similarly, Jr NTR's "Ramayya Vasthvayya" is also facing trouble thanks to the actor's father (Telugu Desam Party MP) who has supported Samaikyaandhra and resigned from the Rajya Sabha. Following this, OUJAC has submitted a memorandum to the Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce (TFCOC) to stop the distribution of these films in the Telangana region.
"Nizam is the biggest revenue generating territory for the box office in the Telugu Film Industry. And this territory falls in the Telangana region. Chiranjeevi and Harikrishna have been very vocal against the formation of Telangana and even now, they are lobbying vigorously in New Delhi. Hence, our protest," Krishanth, the spokesperson of OUJAC, told The Times of India.
When the news daily contacted TFCOC president, Vijayender Reddy, he said he had consulted with JAC chairman and other members of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress who support Telangana. They seem to have told him to release these films.
Now, it remains to be seen if the flicks will hit the theaters as per their schedule. The decision on the film's release is expected to be taken after a joint executive meeting of the film chamber.