The latest chapter in the troubled relationship between Tollywood’s two leading families unfolded at the MAA awards function on Sunday.
Mohan Babu, who had been invited to felicitate close friend and actor K. Raghavendra Rao with the lifetime achievement award at the ceremony, walked out of the function annoyed with the organisers. He didn’t even hand over the award to his friend.
Sources in the Manchu family said Mohan Babu was not treated with respect by the organisers. “There was a clear breach of protocol and his seniority and stature weren’t respected. He was deeply annoyed with the organisers’ unprofessional arrangement,” said a source
The veteran, who rarely attends award functions, chose to attend this one because he had been asked to hand out a coveted award to his good friend Raghavendra Rao, the source added. “But he didn’t get his due.
The function was hijacked by the Chiranjeevi and Akkineni families since they are the co-owners of the channel that gives out the awards. In fact, the emcee of the show asked Allu Aravind, Nagarjuna, Chiranjeevi and ANR to stay back on stage to felicitate Raghvendra Rao and asked the rest, including Mohan Babu, to leave the stage. He had no choice left,” the source added.
However, a top official of MAA TV denied any breach of protocol. “It’s false. He had come to felicitate Raghavendra Rao and even came on the stage to garland him. He couldn’t stay back for the final felicitation and give his speech as he left the venue to attend to some personal work. Every celebrity was given his due respect,” he argued.
After the notorious face-off between Chiranjeevi and Mohan Babu at the Vajrothsavam function few years ago, this incident might have worsened the ties between the legendary archrivals.