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3 theatres seized in Andhra Pradesh for screening ‘Lakshmi’s NTR’

Although Lakshmi’s NTR released in other places, the movie did not release in Andhra Pradesh.

SNS | New Delhi |

Authorities in Andhra Pradesh’s Kapada district seized three cinema halls which screened the Telugu film, Lakshmi’s NTR, in violation of the order the Election Commission of India issued on 10 April, 2019, a day before the release of another biopic, PM Narendra Modi.

The three theatres screened the film on May 1. Though the election authorities did not give permission to screen the film, the managements of three theatres went ahead and screened them in the morning show, reported IANS. Apparently, the local revenue officials who came to know of this let off the theatres without a warning.

State Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi told the media on Saturday that he had recommended the EC to take action against the Kapada district Joint Collector who failed to stop the film’s screening.

Following the CEO’s statement, Joint Collector Koteshwar Rao ordered the officials concerned to seize the three theatres.

Ram Gopal Varma, director of Lakshmi’s NTR, had planned to release the film on May 1, but the CEO had stated that orders restricting the film’s exhibition were still in force.

The film is a biopic based on the life of veteran actor and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Rama Rao (also Telugu Desam Party founder) after entering politics and his marriage to Lakshmi Parvathi.

The film is narrated from the perspective of his wife. It also includes events following the marriage including the revolt by his son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu, and NTR’s death.

The EC had refused to allow screening the film in Andhra Pradesh after some Telugu Desam Party functionaries approached it, alleging that the film depicted Chief Minister and TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu in negative light, which could impact the party’s poll prospects in the on going Lok Sabha elections 2019.

According to EC’s April 10 order, producers of Lakshmi’s NTR and Udyama Simham, the two biopics based on the lives of former AP Chief Minister and N T Rama Rao and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao respectively, were ordered not to release their movies until further orders.

Although Lakshmi’s NTR released in other places, the movie did not release in Andhra Pradesh.

Earlier, Ram Gopal Varma accused the Election Commission for being biased. On social media he shared a letter from the EC and challenged its decision citing AP High Court’s judgement of clearance last month. Varma had decided to release the film on May 1 in Andhra Pradesh.

He wrote, “Point 8C in EC ‘s below letter combined with AP high court judgement is why we planned release today .we going to court against contradictory stand of EC now to stop film after giving permission to release for reasons best known to it and we all know the force behind responsible (sic)”

“#LakshmisNTR has been taken out of all theatres in Andhra Pradesh with officials claiming it might cause law and order problems .Inspite of censor certificate given and high court clearing it , what law and order problems can be there is what I want to ask the forces behind? (sic)”, added he.

Lakshmi’s NTR stars JK Vijay Kumar, Yagna Shetty and Sritej.