Pawan’s attempt to create political space for Jana Sena

Vijayawada, December 17:

Two-and-half years after actively campaigning for BJP-TDP alliance, Telugu actor and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan has not only distanced himself but sparing no words to hit out at them.

After addressing series of public meetings during last few months to lash out at BJP for going back on its poll promise to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh and slamming TDP for accepting the ‘rotten laddu’(special package), Pawan has now launched an all-out war through twitter.

The power star, who had joined Narendra Modi and Chandrababu Naidu in 2014 campaign in mounting the bitter attack on Congress party for dividing Andhra Pradesh, has now trained his guns at his former allies.

After remaining silent for two years, he made his presence felt by addressing public meetings in Tirupati, Rajahmundry and Anantapur during last four months.

Playing the card of Telugu self-respect, he lashed out at BJP for not fulfilling its promise to grant special category status. He warned the party against playing with the sentiments of Telugus and targeted TDP for accepting special package instead of special status.

Mincing no words, Pawan said BJP, like Congress will be buried in Andhra Pradesh.

Though he announced three-phase protest plan to mount pressure on BJP-led NDA government to achieve special status, there was no follow-up action. This could be because Jana Sena is yet to have an organisational structure.

Since floated by Pawan on the eve of 2014 elections, it has more or less remained one man party. It has no cadre at the grass root level. All the party has is the star appeal of its founder and he has not yet made any serious attempt to turn the fan following into a strong party base.

Pawan, whose party did not contest previous elections, has announced that he will contest 2019 elections. However, he was not clear if his party will field candidates across the state.

After remaining silent for few weeks, Pawan has resumed his attacks on BJP, now through twitter.

He declared that Jana Sena which supported BJP-TDP alliance in 2004 elections in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka will communicate with the BJP-led central government on issues like cow slaughter, Rohit Vemula suicide, patriotism, demonetization and AP special status.

On Thursday, the actor choose cow slaughter/beef ban as the first issue to target BJP. He described cow slaughter as ‘a divisive political tactic to create scare in communities who consume it and to arouse sentiment among the communities who respect n worship cow’.

Questioning the sincerity of BJP over the issue, he said if it was really sincere it would have implemented beef ban in Goa, where BJP is in power.

“BJP could have banned their party workers, MPs n MLAs from wearing leather footwear n belts etc,” he tweeted.

The next day, he blamed BJP for the suicide of Rohith Vemula, the research scholar of Hyderabad Central University, and also slammed it for trying to prove after his death that he was not a Dalit.

“There is no doubt that Rohit Vemula hated BJP like millions of individuals,” he remarked.

The series of attacks on BJP indicate that Pawan is gearing up for 2019 elections. By taking on both BJP and TDP and raising issues like suicide of Dalit research scholar, he seems to be making an attempt to create political space for Jana Sena.

It remains to be seen if he is serious contender for power or just be content as a ‘supporter’ of a party or an alliance like in 2014.

He has a long way to go before emerging as a key force and offering an alternative.

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