Popular Telugu film director Ram Gopal Varma's Lakshmi's NTR
is finally set to hit the screens in Andhra Pradesh on May 1. But the director needed to cancel his plans to hold a press meet in the State, and was forced to return to Hyderabad, by the State's police.
Lakshmi's NTR was released in cinemas across the world except in Andhra Pradesh on March 29. The movie shows AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu in a bad light, and hence the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had approached the High Court seeking an order to delay its release as it would affect voters in the 2019 general elections. The HC had resultantly stalled the film's release in Andhra Pradesh till the elections in the State got over.
The polling for the Lok Sabha and the Assembly seats of the State was held in Andhra Pradesh on April 11, and the decks were cleared for the release of the movie with that. Ram Gopal Varma announced on Twitter that the movie would hit the screens on May 1. He tweeted, "Finally #LakshmisNTR is now releasing on May 1 in Andhra Pradesh. Come watch the conspiracies that happened behind NTR's back."
Hours later, Varma also announced a press meet at the Novotel in Vijayawada at 4 pm on Sunday. The director tweeted, "Press meet of #LakshmisNTR on Sunday in Vijayawada at 4 pm in Novotel hotel. Film releasing on May 1."
However, the police force of the state decided otherwise. Hotels in Vijayawada were declined permission to host the press meet, and when Varma then decided to hold the press meet on the street at NTR Circle in the Pipula Road area, the police detained him as he was on his way there and took him to the Gannavaram airport. Varma protested on Twitter about the action being illegal and democracy being dead in AP.