Kakarla Sathyanarayana, the governor of Tamil Nadu, is to open a new open market in Madras. A terrorist plants a bomb in the preceding night of the opening, and the market area explodes minutes after Kakarla leaves the ceremony. The state government is thrown into disarray.
Prabhu is the student chairman of the Government Arts College and his friend Vasanth is the joint secretary. He goes to invite Kakarla as the chief guest for the college annual day along with Vasanth, during which he sees his daughter Shruti and instantly falls in love with her. Kakarla accepts the invitation and on the function day he arrives with his wife and Shruti; Prabhu is excited to see her again. To get close to Shruti, Prabhu joins her dance school. Shruti initially hates him for disrespecting classical dance. Prabhu's father, police constable Kathiresan, advises him to impress her by learning classical dance properly and Prabhu assents. Prabhu practices day and night for a month and becomes well versed in the art. Shruti refuses to go to the Natyanjali festival at Chidambaram if Prabhu attends, for fear of him insulting the art. To disprove her, Prabhu secretly enters her house and demonstrates his dance skills to her. She is amazed and agrees to go but, due to fear of terrorism, Kakarla refuses to let her leave.
Unknown to anyone, Kakarla is an aide of the National ruling party. He was paid heavily to topple the state government by horse-trading of MLAs; he instead chose to create law and order disarray and dismiss the legislature using Article 356 of the Constitution of India. He was the one who planned the bomb at the market. Shruti escapes with Prabhu and Vasanth via motorbike, outwitting her bodyguards. Meanwhile, Kakarla and bomb specialist Mallikarjuna plan the next bomb blast at the Nataraja Temple where Natyanjali is to take place. Commander Ajay informs Kakarla that Shruti left with two men to attend Natyanjali. Kakarla orders Malli to remove the bomb, but he faces an accident on the way, resulting in a broken leg. Prabhu and Shruti are chased by the police and Malli; that night they stay in a paddy field. Shruti realises Prabhu's love for her and reciprocates. They reach Chidambaram as planned. Due to Malli's inability to remove the bomb, Kakarla secretly informs the police and his guards. Ajay and the squad reach the temple, remove the bomb and bring Shruti back by helicopter.
Kakarla doubts Shruti's virginity as she was with Prabhu for a night. Upset at this, Shruti meets with Prabhu and asks him to marry her, but then Ajay and his commandos imprison Prabhu and accuse him of planting the bomb. The police order Prabhu to confess, but he refuses while Shruti becomes embittered over his imprisonment, and expresses her love for him to her parents. Vasanth informs all the students about the happenings and a strike is called by all the students against Kakarla. Kakarla is embarrassed by Sruthi in an official dinner party, and they make a deal. In exchange for Prabhu's unconditional release, Shruti is sent to her paternal grandparents' house in Tadepalligudem, Andhra Pradesh. Weeks later, Prabhu and Vasanth reach Tadepalligudem and find Shruti. Her grandparents support their romance and unite them. Malli sees Prabhu and informs Kakarla over a wireless transmission which Prabhu overhears. He discovers evidence of Kakarla's attempts to blast Nataraja Temple, and learns of his plans of blasting the Government General Hospital. After subduing Malli, Prabhu and Vasanth escape with the evidence.
Malli informs Kakarla, who orders the police to find Prabhu. Police arrest Prabhu and Vasanth, and Kakarla tells Malli to make the bomb detonate after his visit to the hospital to see the Vice President of India undergoing treatment there. They plan to dump unconscious Prabhu and Vasanth in the hospital. However, the duo escape, and Prabhu informs Kathiresan about the bomb. Malli plants the bomb, but Kakarla betrays him by trying to kill him with a bomb radio. Malli survives, and in revenge re-times the bomb to detonate during Kakarla's scheduled visit. Prabhu searches for the bomb, while Vasanth brings students to vacate the patients. After meeting the Vice President, Kakarla gets stuck in a lift with his wife and daughter. Shruti is helped out, while Prabhu, having located the bomb, runs to a river and throws it there; the bomb detonates without killing anyone. Malli manages to kill Kakarla with a live wire, and succumbs to his injuries. Prabhu and Shruti reunite.
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