The BJP and the ruling YSR Congress have traded charges over Vakeel Saab, starring BJP partner and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan.
BJP state leader Sunil Deodhar on Friday criticised the Jagan Mohan government for not granting permission for the film’s premiere. Taking to Twitter, Deodhar, who is campaigning for the BJP’s candidate in the Tirupati Lok Sabha by-poll, said the state government was afraid of Kalyan.
The BJP leader went on to say that Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, who has to visit the courts every Friday in connection with CBI cases, was afraid of the judiciary and vakeels; the government was even afraid of the film, he said.
Vakeel Saab, a remake of the Amitabh Bachchan starrer Pink, was released amid great fanfare in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The AP government, however, deviated from previous practice and denied permission to producers to enhance ticket rates. As distributors pay exorbitant rates for rights of star movies, they increase ticket rates to recover investment. For the premiere or benefit shows, they collect as high as ₹1,000-₹1,500 a seat.
The ruling YSR Congress, however, said the producers of the movie were trying to exploit fans. Information and public relations minister Perni Nani asked why the BJP was batting for rich distributors and producers.
The minister also ridiculed the BJP leader for linking the party’s victory to the success of Vakeel Saab, saying that the national party was resorting to cheap tricks. He took potshots at the movie, which he said was stale. “It’s like paachi laddu (stale laddu),” he said, a term coined by Pawan Kalyan to protest against the special package announced by the Modi government during the Chandrababu Naidu regime.