The Animal pre-release event in Hyderabad on Monday evening witnessed a star-studded gathering with actors Ranbir Kapoor, Rashmika Mandanna, Bobby Deol, Anil Kapoor, and esteemed guests Mahesh Babu and director SS Rajamouli in attendance. While the event was meant to celebrate the upcoming film, a politician’s bold proclamation about the Telugu industry dominating Bollywood sparked an awkward and controversial moment. However, before that Mahesh Babu was all praise for Ranbir.

Malla Reddy, the Minister of Labour and Employment of Telangana took the stage and made a statement that caught many by surprise. In a video circulating on the internet, he looked directly at Ranbir Kapoor and said, “Ek baat bolna chahta hoon mai. Agle paanch saal mai, Bollywood and Hollywood, pura ruling karega humara Telugu industry. Ek saal ke baad Hyderabad shift hona padta, kyu bole toh Bombay purana hogaya, Bengaluru traffic jam hogaya. Hindustan mai ek he city hai, woh Hyderabad.”

(In the next five years, Bollywood and Hollywood will be ruled by our Telugu industry. After a year, everyone will have to move to Hyderabad because, you see, Mumbai has become outdated, and Bengaluru is stuck in traffic jams. In India, there is only one city, that’s Hyderabad.)

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He continued to praise the Telugu industry, emphasizing the intelligence of Telugu individuals, mentioning iconic figures like Rajamouli, Dil Raju, and new talent like Sandeep. Reddy expressed confidence that the Telugu industry, with its “smart” people, would dominate both Hollywood and Bollywood in the coming years.

He said, “Jaise humare Telugu log, itne smart log hai, Rajamouli, dilwale Dil Raju and humara naya Sandeep aaya. Humara pura Hindustan Hollywood aur Bollywood ko ruling karega. Humara Telugu people ‘smart smart smart’ log hai. Dekho humara heroine? Kitne smart hai. Pushpa toh dhoom macha ke chhod diya.”

The video stirred reactions on the internet, with some considering the statement insulting, while others recalled Mahesh Babu’s previous comment, “Bollywood can’t afford me.” This has reignited discussions around the South vs North debate in the Indian film industry.

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