Actor Prakash Raj has said that there is a deeper meaning behind his resignation from Tollywood’s influential industry body, Movie Artists Association (MAA).
Thanking the members who had supported him and his panel in the just-concluded MAA elections, the acclaimed character actor tweeted: “Hi my dear MAA members who stood by us … There is a deeper meaning behind my resignation from the MAA. We as a team know we are responsible to the love n support you all have extended to us.”
Prakash Raj lost to actor-producer Manchu Vishnu in a bitterly contested election and then announced on Monday that he was quitting the MAA. “We will NEVER let you all down … will explain very soon … you will be proud of us,” he added.
The actor had quit the trade body because he was upset over what he perceived as “regionalism” during the election and the ‘tukde tukde’ gang issue being raked up in the campaign. A native of Karnataka, the multi-lingual actor said he would remain a “guest” in the industry because that what his rival panel and its supporters want him to be.
During the bitter campaign, the Vishnu panel and its supporters opposed Prakash Raj’s candidature because he’s a non-Telugu. Prakash responded by stating: “My self-respect as an artiste does not permit me to continue in the MAA.” He clarified that he would continue to act in Telugu films and maintain his relationship with the film industry and his fans.
In the election held on Sunday, Vishnu was elected MAA president defeating Prakash Raj by 109 votes. The final results declared on Monday showed that Vishnu polled 383 votes while his rival garnered 274 votes.
The Vishnu panel also won all the key posts, barring the executive vice-president, which was bagged by actor Srikanth of the Prakash Raj panel. And of the 18 slots for executive committee members, Vishnu’s panel bagged 10 and Prakash Raj supporters got the remaining eight seats.
After Prakash Raj announcing his resignation, Vishnu appealed to him not to act in an emotional and hasty way. “You are an integral part of our family. I need your ideas and we need to work together. I request you not to reply back to me now. I will meet you soon and we will discuss. I love uncle and please don’t be hasty,” the young actor wrote to Prakash Raj.
Addressing a news conference on Monday, Vishnu said he would not accept the resignations of Prakash Raj and Naga Babu, megastar Chiranjeevi’s brother, who had also announced his resignation. Chiranjeevi, in fact, had supported Prakash Raj. Naga Babu said he was pained to see regionalism and intolerance that rocked the apex body of Tollywood.