The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has traditionally maintained friendly relations with the Tollywood film industry, largely due to the influence of the late Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao. Even when certain films were made with a political agenda against Chandrababu Naidu, the TDP refrained from pursuing any vendettas against them.
In 2019, a number of film stars and anchors shifted their allegiance to the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). This group included prominent figures like Mohan Babu, Ali, Prudhvi, Hema, the Rajasekhar-Jeevitha couple, SV Krishna Reddy, Atchi Reddy, Bhanu Chander, Anchor Shyamala, and Vijay Chander, among others. Their expectation was that the YSRCP government would treat them more favorably than the TDP had.
However, their hopes were dashed as they found themselves having to seek permissions for ticket price hikes and smooth film releases, even the biggest stars resorting to waiting outside Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s office. They repented their decision but no one spoke a word against Jagan due to the risk of their films getting harmed.
After Chandrababu Naidu’s arrest, not many from the film fraternity stepped forward to support him or condemn the unjust arrest. One notable exception was legendary producer Ashwini Dutt, who openly criticized Jagan’s perceived vendetta politics.
Ashwini Dutt’s recent prediction that the TDP+ alliance would win 160 out of 175 seats in the upcoming elections, leaving the YSRCP with just 15 seats, has raised eyebrows on social media. Politics is notoriously unpredictable, and people are curious about the basis of his confidence.
Ashwini Dutt is also making headlines for his mega-budget film, Kalki 2898 AD, which has a budget exceeding 500 crores. The film’s success needs to do exceptionally well, including Andhra Pradesh, to break even.
However, if things don’t go as planned, and the YSRCP stays in power in 2024, there are concerns that the government may engage in witch-hunting against Ashwini Dutt and will make things difficult for Kalki as a form of revenge for Ashwini Dutt’s critical remarks about their party.
But Ashwini Dutt doesn’t seem to care a damn about what YCP might do to his film and right now is standing firmly with the truth and justice.