Though keen on avoiding a split in the opposition vote to dethrone the ruling YSRCP in the state, the Jana Sena Party, it seems, find it tough to sail with others. Its chief, Pawan Kalyan, an actor-turned-politician, is apparently in a dilemma over a tie-up with other parties to fight the battle of ballot scheduled for May next year.
The remarks made by Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan during the party’s 10th formation day meeting held in Machilipatnam on Tuesday night gave enough hints that the Jana Sainiks would not hesitate to go it alone in the elections, avoiding a TDP or BJP alliance. Addressing a huge gathering, Pawan Kalyan said, “If we are confident, we will fight it alone. I never make my supporters feel let down. I believe in the efficiency of Chandrababu Naidu, but I have no soft corner towards the Telugu Desam Party. We will not join hands with anyone against the wishes of the party men.”
Pawan Kalyan made similar comments about the Jana Sena-BJP alliance at the Machilipatnam meeting. The JSP founder said, “Muslims are afraid of my truck with the BJP as they feel insecure under the saffron regime. But, I assure the minorities that there will be no attacks as they fear. If still the Muslims are against the alliance, I am ready to distance from the BJP.” The remarks against the BJP and TDP triggered speculation in political circles that the JSP may prefer a lone battle to a joint fight.
Ever since the talk of a tie-up with the TDP, there has been simmering discontent among the JSP leaders who revealed it publicly. The Jana Sena cadre insists on chief ministership for Pawan Kalyan in case of an alliance with the TDP, for which the latter may not be ready. It may be mentioned here that the senior Kapu leader in the party, Harirama Jogaiah, has cautioned Pawan Kalyan against sailing with the TDP chief. With the party’s cadre, too, being averse to any truck, the JSP chief seems to be under pressure and continues to play cards close to his chest on any tie-up.
The actor took the plunge into politics to test the waters by launching the Jana Sena on 14 March 2014. The star, with a massive fan following, campaigned for the BJP-TDP alliance in the 2014 elections and worked hard for the TDP victory. However, differences cropped up later with Naidu and the Jana Sena going to the 2019 elections alone only to face humiliating defeat. The party could not stop the Jagan juggernaut from rolling on. Of the 175 seats, the party could swim to shore only in one constituency weathering the YSRCP storm. JSP candidate Rapaka Varaprasada Rao emerged victorious in Razole. Pawan Kalyan himself received a drubbing in Gajuwaka and Bhimavaram from where he had contested.
After a bumpy ride all these ten years, the party sees a ray of hope and decides to move strategically to capture power in the state.
Article written by Lakkoju Nagesh Babu, senior journalist and Column Editor.
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