23-08-201923-08-2019 12:16:00 IST
Updated On 23-08-2019 12:22:25 ISTUpdated On 23-08-20192019-08-23T06:46:00.718Z23-08-2019 2019-08-23T06:45:51.434Z - 2019-08-23T06:52:25.292Z - 23-08-2019
Nara Lokesh, the son of former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and the national general secretary of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), has been very proactive on Twitter these days. Since the time he lost the Mangalagiri battle and his party losing power in Andhra Pradesh, he has made the social media platform as his ‘second home’.
Every other day, there is some incisive tweet or the other from the young leader in his bid to corner the YSRCP government led by Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy. He is relentless in this process even shrugging off the criticism that he is in a cocoon and waging a tweet war in hiding while avoiding public appearances.
While this is visibly paying off to an extent much to the delight of the TDP leaders, one of his recent genuine attempts at ‘fire-fighting’ to end what was snowballing into a potential showdown between the fans groups of the TDP and Tollywood actor Prabhas has badly boomeranged.
In a more humiliating turn of events, Lokesh now finds himself being trolled by some of the die-hard fans of his own party. The young TDP leader has recently come up with a series of tweets to douse the fire and diffuse tension following a bitter social media war between the two groups which only appeared to get uglier by the minute.
Lokesh’s intention was to scotch all the speculation that the TDP was plotting to sabotage Prabhas’ much-anticipated pan-India film ‘Saaho’, which is set for a worldwide release on August30th. While flaying the rumour-mongers in this regard, Lokesh tried to wear a statesman’s hat, expressing his desire to see the film do wonders at the box office. He even tried to build bridges by exhorting the TDP fans to go and watch the film.
This has turned out to be a bitter pill to swallow for some of the die-hard fans of the TDP, who showed no qualms in unleashing a no-holds-barred assault on their own young leader in the social media. In the process of blurting their anger out against Lokesh, they didn’t even hesitate to heckle him by the nickname ‘Pappu’, something that has so far been used by his political adversaries. This is perhaps the first time -- and hopefully the only time -- that the young leader was humiliated with this derisive soubriquet by his own party sympathizers.
The genesis of this whole controversy stems from a recent interview of Prabhas to a Tamil website as part of his ‘Saaho’ promotions. In reply to a pointed question on whether AP Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy could be called ‘Andhra Bahubali’, Prabhas said that “people believe the state could progress under his leadership.” In the same breath, he made an honest confession about his lack of knowledge on politics.
Taking serious offence to this, some of the TDP fan groups were reported to have given a call to boycott Prabhas’ ‘Saaho’ and were even accused of unleashing a negative publicity blitz on the social media platforms. With fans of Prabhas also retaliating strongly sparking off a bitter war in the virtual world, Lokesh took it upon himself to put a stop to the needless crisis.
One is not sure how much of a sobering effect Lokesh’s tweets had on the fans of Prabhas, but they certainly ended up rubbing the TDP sympathizers on the wrong shoulders.
Some of the comments by TDP fans against Lokesh were as incisive as the young leader’s ‘Twitter salvos’ against his political opponents.
Here are a few of them to sample the fan fury:
“Lokesh and Balakrishna are unfit to be in politics. This is hard reality. The more they keep away from the party, the better.” – B Ramakrishna.
“It is true that Lokesh can never succeed in politics. He never endorsed movies of his own father-in-law (Balakrishna) or brother-in-law (Jr NTR). It is disheartening to see this pappu waiting for the release of a Prabhas movie.” – Veeru N.
“Are we so shameless as to forget what Prabhas and Krishnam Raju said about us? We have proved our strength in the past to the cine industry and heroes who speaking in support of our rivals have to pay a heavy price.” – G Dinakar.
The last one was a reference to Prabhas’ uncle and BJP’s former Union minister Krishnam Raju’s rants in the past against the TDP. The Rebel Star, as he is known, in some interviews in the recent past, has allegedly called TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu a ‘dead snake’ and claimed that the TDP was heading for a permanent closure.
Some of the trolls also questioned why Lokesh did not come up with a similar gesture at the time of the release of TDP founder N T Rama Rao’s biopic.
Clearly, this is a quite an unfamiliar wicket to bat on for Lokesh and the top brass of the TDP. Many of them are clueless on how to react, seeing the Nara scion being trolled by their own fans, that too on an attempt that seemed to come with a good intent.
The fan fury will eventually die down very soon. But the fact that the ‘heir apparent’ of the TDP was beaten in his own game and by his own men’ will not be erased from people’s memory so soon.
-Durga Prasad Kanamaluru
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