Actors Prakash Raj and Vishnu Manchu, who are contesting as presidential candidates in the upcoming Movie Artistes Association (MAA) elections, engaged in a war of words on Tuesday, after the former alleged that Manchu was trying to win by malpractice, according to a Times of India report.
The Telugu film industry’s MAA elections is slated to held on Sunday and the results will be announced on the same day.
As per the TOI report, Prakash Raj said that Manchu and his family were resorting to unethical practices to win the elections. Manchu countered with a warning to not drag his family name into “petty politics.”
It all started when Prakash Raj accused Manchu of trying to win the votes of senior actors by paying for their postal ballot votes. “Vishnu Manchu and his family are trying to use unethical means to win this election. A lump sum amount has been paid to voters who can’t travel to physically cast their votes. It is obvious that the individuals for whom the money was paid will be influenced to vote for Vishnu Manchu,” said Prakash Raj.
The actor then tearfully asked the election committee and disciplinary committee to ensure that fair polls are conducted and to take necessary steps against the Manchu family. He added that such practices damage the “moral fabric” of the industry.
Manchu, in his turn, denied all the allegations and warned Prakash Raj to not drag his family into the election contest. “I know Prakash Raj is a good actor but I never knew he could act so well off-screen too. He should stop shedding crocodile tears and maintain decorum. He cannot drag my family into everything and if he repeats this, I will have to be disrespectful to him,” the report quotes him as saying.
Manchu also denied paying postal ballot vote charges without the consent of the individuals and added that he is conducting his campaign fairly by “knocking on every single door” to seek votes.
He further said that Prakash Raj has been creating a “nuisance” in every film industry, including Tamil and Kannada. “Telugu film industry is a happy fraternity and Prakash Raj’s toxicity is breaking this unity among us,” he added.
Meanwhile, Telugu actor Naga Babu came out in support of Prakash Raj’s claims and said that Manchu has been distributing money to turn results in his favour. Babu also appealed to the voters to not get influenced by poll freebies and offers.