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What's Pawan up to?

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What‘s Pawan up to? Pawan Kalyan’s belated Thullur tour raises more political questions than answers as its timing and purpose remain hazy.

Pawan Kalyan’s belated Thullur tour raises more political questions than answers as its timing and purpose remain hazy. His statements are self-contradictory and are changing by the day. While on one hand, he has asserted that the capital does not need over 30,000 acres, on the other, he has thanked all those farmers who have volunteered to give their land. When pooling such large tracts of land is unwise and unwarranted, why should he admire those who have volunteered to do so? Pawan making such a statement after the process of land-pooling was completed also raises serious doubts over his sincerity. Now he clarifies that he is seeking a better deal for farmers in the third phase. Why was he silent all these months, which saw such a protracted debate on the extent of land needed for the capital? It is much more surprising to hear the actor stating that he was not aware of the unease among the farmers over parting their fertile lands. Should one believe that Pawan, heading a political party, is not even following media reports? What prevented him from going to these river bed villages until now? More importantly, why this change of heart at this stage?

Pawan called on Chandrababu Naidu before proceeding to the capital region. His visit was close on the heels of opposition leader Jaganmohan Reddy’s tour to the same villages.

Although, he is unhappy over the delay in granting special status to Andhra Pradesh, a visit of New Delhi remains uncertain, which, many believe, is because he is not sure if Modi would oblige his wish-list. He is not even ready to mobilise people as a measure to exert pressure. Is this not irresponsible politics? Does it not amount to a betrayal of his promises during the 2014 election when he famously endorsed the Modi-Babu combine?

Pawan Kalyan’s tour was ostensibly aimed at eliciting farmers’ views. But, such an effort does not need a cavalcade of thousands of vehicles. In the show of strength, his fans outnumbered farmers. His words and deeds raise a basic question. What’s Pawan up to? It might be the handiwork of NDA to divert people’s attention from the delay in granting special status. It may also be a strategic move by the TDP–BJP combine to disarm Jaganmohan Reddy, who is harping on land pooling issue to derive political advantage.

The BJP is feeling the heat as TDP is making noises over the special status because of which the distance between BJP and TDP is widening. It might be a strategy of BJP to silence Chandrababu Naidu. In fact, Pawan is closer to BJP than he is to the TDP. Realising the restlessness among the people over land pooling/acquisition and special status, the Jana Sena chief may perhaps be testing political waters. Only time will make things clear.

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