Pawan Kalyan’s remarks on online sale of movie tickets kick up a row

VIJAYAWADA: Janasena chief Pawan Kalyan’s comments on Saturday at a pre-release function of a Telugu film kicked up a political storm in the State with several Cabinet ministers lambasting the actor-politician for what they called his “ignorant” and “malicious” remarks.

On Saturday, Pawan Kalyan, in a no-holds-barred verbal attack on the Jagan Mohan Reddy government, said that with the empty coffers, the YSRC government came out with an online cinema ticket sale idea to secure more loans. It was not launched out of love towards those in the film field, the actor-politician had alleged.

A host of cabinet ministers hit back at the Jana Sena Party chief on Sunday for criticising the government when it was trying to curb black-marketing of movie tickets. They said the proposal to have an online ticketing platform was welcomed by distributors and sought to know why Pawan Kalyan was objecting the same.

Transport, Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkatramaiah ( Nani) said the film industry has been demanding online ticketing since 2003. He said the film industry bigwigs met him on September 20 and submitted a petition seeking launch of online ticket system.

“We will only run the online portal and the theatre staff will sell the tickets online. The amount collected through the portal will be transferred to the theatre owners through Reserve Bank gateway the next day,” he explained and slammed Janasena chief for his “ignorant” remarks.

The minister reminded Pawan Kalyan that the state government has been spending Rs 60,000 crore every year for implementing welfare schemes. He also flayed the actor-politician for using derogatory language against Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Water Resources Minister P Anil Kumar Yadav sarcastically remarked that the online portal was not launched for Pawan Kalyan. “He is making such comments for political mileage,” he said.

Though it was not a political event, Pawan, who continues to be active in films, styled his speech as a political one targeting the AP government. “When there are a plethora of problems that need the government’s attention, all it is doing is to find ways to secure more money,” Pawan had claimed.