Chiranjeevi is burning the midnight oil to pore over books on political science, the Indian Constitution and public administration to prepare for his new role as a politician. The actor, who has enacted many a character in reel life, may never have taken such pains for any portrayal. But then this is the meatiest role he has ever got.
According to aides, the Praja Rajyam chief is also reading up on all the burning issues of the state, including categorisation of scheduled castes, Naxalism, farmers’ suicides and price rise to keep abreast of all major developments. Mr Chiranjeevi, who is on a statewide tour, apparently wants to deliver speeches with as much substance as style, something which his scriptwriters often forget to do in films.
"He is thoroughly examining every problem being faced by the common man," said an aide. "He is not just analysing the problem, but is also taking advice from experts to find solutions." To formulate pro-poor policies for his party, the actor is also going through the election manifestos of different political parties.
"He is committed to the uplift of the downtrodden," said Ms Shobha Nagi Reddy, former Telugu Desam leader who joined the Praja Rajyam. "He is very keen on understanding the travails of the poor." Chiranjeevi struck a chord with the people during the Tirupati launch of his party by speaking about his lower middle-class upbringing. But to carry forward the momentum, he has to strike a chord in terms of his approach to issues as well. This means some rote learning to digest key facts and figures. And nobody needs to teach the actor how to weave them into his dialogues to give it that solid punch.