Telugu cinema veteran-turned-politician K Chiranjeevi, who acted in about 150 movies spanning three decades, was made minister of state with independent charge in the Manmohan Singh government on Sunday
Chiranjeevi‘s induction is expected to give a boost to the Congress prospects in the Andhra Pradesh where the party is facing a tough challenge from the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led breakaway YSR Congress.
The actor, who belongs to coastal Andhra Pradesh, had joined the Congress along with 18 MLAs. His political journey started in August 2008 when he began his own political party in his native state of Hyderabad after working for 30 years as an actor in about 150 movies.
He named his party Praja Rajyam and, in the 2009 general elections, it won 18 seats in Andhra Pradesh state assembly and Chiranjeevi himself won his maiden election from Tirupati Assembly constituency. A commerce graduate, the 57-year-old’s first screen appearance was with in the 1978 movie Pranam Khareedu. Born as Konidala Siva Sankara Vara Prasad to Venkat Rao and Anjani Devi on August 22, 1955 to in Mogalthur, which is near Narsapur, he took the screen name of Chiranjeevi on the advice of his mother.
The actor’s first movie assignment after completing his stint at the Madras Film Institute was Punadhirallu, but his first release was Pranam Khareedu. In over three-decade long career he has given dozens of hits and has won several honours including 10 Filmfare Awards South, which is said to be the maximum by any Telugu actor and he also won National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration for his production venture Rudraveena (1988).
In 1980, he married actor Surekha and they have three children – son Ramcharan Teja, who is also an actor, and two daughters – Susmita and Sirija.