I will permanently give up MAA membership: Srikanth
MAA's key office-bearers, especially President Shivaji Raja, Treasurer Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao and Executive Vice-President Srikanth, are facing allegations of misappropriation of funds. The controversy is over a MAA event held with Megastar Chiranjeevi in the US a few months ago. The three members today held a press meet to present their side of the story. They handled tough questions with dignity.
Srikanth said, "Since my name is being reported in the media over the allegations, I yesterday asked Naresh garu to attend today's press meet. He is duty-bound to give answers to the media as MAA's General Secretary. But he said that he won't be able to attend the meet as he is busy with film shootings. If any allegation is proved, I will give up my membership of MAA. If I am proven to be innocent, will those making allegations do the same? It's an open challenge."
He said that how many seats were filled during the US event and such details are up to the organizers. "What is our brief is only the proceeds that came to us. We held the event in the US so as to raise the profile of the industry. It could have been held in Vizag or some other place here," Srikanth clarified.
Saying that the agreement was made with the organizer who first showed interest to organize the US event, Srikanth rubbished the suggestion that he stayed back in the US even after the event was over in 3 days for some shady reasons. "I am not answerable as to why I stayed back. My brother lives in the US. It's a personal matter. I was enjoying the US trip," Srikanth shot back.
"We thought of holding two events with Chiranjeevi garu. But since 'Sye Raa' schedule was overlapping, only one event could be held," he claimed.
"We have been wishing to raise a building for MAA for years now. But some people don't want it to come up. Just one Celebrity Cricket League season raked in Rs. 1.50 Cr. There have been 7-8 such seasons so far. When then four executive members of MAA opposed an idea of mine a few years ago, I didn't even want to step into the premises of MAA ever in future," Srikanth said.
When it was his turn, President Shivaji Raja said that he never ever drank a cup of tea that belonged to MAA. "I swear on Goddess Peddamma Thalli and my children. I have done no wrong. Some people are unhappy that I am getting a good name. Elections (in MAA) are nearing. That's why all this is happening. If it's proved that I have done any wrong, I will write off my personal property as compensation," Shivaji Raja said emotionally.
The office-bearers claimed that MAA's treasury now has Rs. 5.60 Cr where it had just Rs. 2.10 Cr a couple of years ago. "Our target is to enrich the MAA with Rs. 10 Cr by holding events with Mahesh Babu, Prabhas and Nagarjuna. We want to build a glorious building for MAA. The events with the aforementioned heroes will be held transparently. Let's keep everything open. Those who want to make an agreement with MAA can do so in a transparent manner," Paruchuri said.