Actor-politician Chiranjeevi was censured by voters today when he allegedly tried to jump the queue at a polling station in Andhra Pradesh.
The 58-year-old Congress politician came along with his son, daughter and wife to vote at a polling station in the Khairatabad assembly seat in Hyderabad, and went past a long queue of voters to walk right up to the front.
A voter, Raja Kartik, instantly objected and said, “Do you need special treatment? You may be a union minister, but you are not a senior citizen. You should not jump the queue with your family.”
In pictures, Chiranjeevi was seen trying to mollify the voter, who said he had come all the way from London and had been waiting for more than an hour.
What became even more embarrassing for the actor was that others started clapping and cheering the young man.
Chiranjeevi was forced to walk back and stand in queue. His son Ram Charan Teja, also a film star, left the polling station but returned later to vote.
“I never violate rules. I had just left the queue to see if my name was in voting list,” Chiranjeevi told reporters.
Applauded as the true hero of the hour, the voter, Kartik, said, “I respect him, but he should follow the queue. He is not over 65 or disabled.”
Telangana – which will be carved out of Andhra Pradesh as India’s 29th state on June 2 – is voting today for its 17 parliamentary seats, and for its first state government.
In 2011, Chiranjeevi merged his party with the Congress. His younger brother, Telugu superstar Pawan Kalyan, is planted firmly on the other side – he has pledged the allegiance of his party, the Jana Sena Party to the BJP and to prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.