Political Career of Chiranjeevi
In the year 2008, Chiranjeevi started Praja Rajyam, a political party in the state of Andhra Pradesh. At the launch, he stated that social justice was the main agenda of his party. In the 2009 general elections, the party won 18 of the 295 seats in the Andhra Pradesh State Assembly. Chiranjeevi was elected as a Member of the State Legislative Assembly from Tirupati, having contested from both Tirupati and Palakollu constituencies for MLA in the elections, winning in Tirupati but losing out in Palakollu, in West Godavari district.
On February 6, 2011, Chiranjeevi merged the 30-month-old Praja Rajyam Party with the Indian National Congress, after two weeks of talks with Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Congress, which feared the no confidence motion in the state assembly in the wake of the emergence of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party and the stronghold of Telangana agitation. After more than a year of merging his party into Congress, he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha on March 29, 2012. He got elected and took the oath as a Rajya Sabha member on April 3, 2012. On October 28, 2012, he was sworn in as the Union Minister of State (Independent charge), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
Chiranjeevi campaigned extensively for the Indian National Congress as chairman of the election campaign committee for 2014 parliamentary and assembly elections in the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, however, he refrained from contesting in the elections. His youngest brother Pawan Kalyan, a former Praja Rajyam Party youth wing leader launched his own political party Jana Sena and campaigned for Telugu Desham Party and Bharatiya Janata Party. Indian National Congress was defeated in all parliamentary and state assembly seats it contested in Andhra Pradesh, with several candidates losing deposit.
Humanitarian Endeavours of Chiranjeevi
On October 2, 1998, Chiranjeevi founded the Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust (CCT), which encompasses Chiranjeevi Blood and Eye Banks. It is Andhra Pradesh’s largest recipient of blood and eye donations, having made over 68,000 blood donations and 1,414 eye donations. The Blood Bank of the CCT has helped over 80,000 people and the Eye Bank has helped about 1,000 people in the state since its inception. Around 3,50,000 people have pledged their eyes to CCT thus far, giving 1600 people eyesight through it. CCT won the “Best Voluntary Blood Bank Award” by the Andhra Pradesh (AP) State Government for 4 continuous years. On June 10, 2006, the then President of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam inaugurated the Chiranjeevi Charitable Foundation (CCF), at the Jubilee Hills Check Post in Hyderabad.
CCT crossed the 1 Lakh-mark in collecting blood and more than 96,000 people have been benefited with blood by this blood bank. After allegations were made against the CCT Blood Bank and Eye Bank, the state government constituted a high-level committee to look into the allegations. The committee worked under the guidance of the project director of AP State AIDA Control Society, comprising experts from finance and technical fields, and it verified records pertaining to the collection and disposal of blood samples, blood grouping, screening, sterilisation, medical waste disposal, camps conducted, blood expiry, quality control, store room, record room and purchase of equipment.
Chiranjeevi, Indian Film Personality
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