Vijayawada: Nadda skipping Pawan name hints at fading friendship
The fact that the BJP national president, J P Nadda has not felt the need to refer to the name of either Pawan Kalyan or his party Jana Sena, during his 'fiery' speeches in his AP lap of 'Shakti Kendra’ Pramukhs meetings, speaks volumes on the disposition of the saffron party towards the 'mercurial' film star turned actor.
Vijayawada: The fact that the BJP national president, J P Nadda has not felt the need to refer to the name of either Pawan Kalyan or his party Jana Sena, during his 'fiery' speeches in his AP lap of 'Shakti Kendra' Pramukhs meetings, speaks volumes on the disposition of the saffron party towards the 'mercurial' film star turned actor.
Pawan Kalyan has a decent fan base thanks to his powerful screen presence as well his caste equations in the Telugu states. Whenever and wherever he goes to attend a programme, the crowds surge forward to draw his attention.
His speeches are well received and the adulation borders on not only the absurd but also high on decibel score. While his elder brother and the first megastar of the Konidela family, Chiranjeevi, merged his party, Praja Rajyam, with the Congress later to become a Union Minister, Pawan Kalyan was steadfast on his 'loner image' though entering into an alliance with the BJP and the TDP.
Pawan, on the other hand, preferred to retain his 'radical identity' without compromising on 'his principles' only to support the BJP and the TDP in the 2014 elections and picking up the slogan 'Congress Hatao, Desh Bachao'.
In 2018, the party announced that it would contest all 175 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh during the 2019 Assembly election. The party formed a bloc with Leftist parties (Leftists and the Bahujan Samaj Party) and contested 137 seats only to bag around 6.8 per cent of the total votes.
The JSP chief contested two seats in the election, Gajuwaka and Bhimavaram. He failed to win either seat. Rapaka Vara Prasada Rao was elected from Razole Assembly constituency. That is for stats sake.
But, the party's impact on the people of the State has been insignificant. The BJP has always planned to rope in Kapus, the caste of Pawan Kalyan, whose numbers are considerable in the coastal belt of Andhra Pradesh as well in Rayalaseema. Despite handing over the state leadership to the particular segment, it could not do much and remained in the shadows.
Whether the national party is really serious about hobnobbing with the Jana Sena is also not known now. And Nadda's cold-shouldering of Pawan in his speeches adds to the political spice. More so, because the 'Jana Senani' is taunting the TDP to 'sail with him' if it really seeks to topple the ruling YSRCP.
If the BJP does not bother about Pawan Kalyan, it is understandable too. The party has systematically shunned friends and allies to tread a lonely path even at the cost of losing the power sharing arrangement - Maharashtra and Punjab could be the best examples of this.
In case of AP, it need not even bother to cultivate anyone as it has the full and unconditional support of the YSRCP till the next elections. The Chief Minister, Jagan Mohan Reddy, had rightly observed soon after the results came in 2019 when he said, "Unfortunately, the BJP got absolute majority.
If the case were different, we would have had more bargaining power. Now we don't." Prudent enough and the BJP too speaks from a position of real strength apart from the muscle lent to it by the CBI, ED and DRI etc.
Is it deliberate on part of Nadda to not provoke the YSRCP any further by not referring to Pawan Kalyan at all? Does it require any more friends in AP as Jagan is the real "friend in need" (whosoever need)? Speculation in the political circles is rife that Nadda chose his words carefully so as not to offend Jagan too much in asking his party to target the ruling party. Yet again, he clubbed the YSRCP with the TDP and the TRS (as far as dynastic rule, corruption etc as political issues for campaign are concerned).
Has Nadda left Pawan Kalyan in a limbo, a kind of a political intermediate state?