VIJAYAWADA: Actor and Jana Sena president Pawan Kalyan will contest from not one but two Assembly constituencies -- Gajuwaka in Visakhapatnam district and Bhimavaram in West Godavari district. CBI former joint director VV Lakshminarayana, who joined the party recently, has been fielded from Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency.
A decision to this effect was taken at the party's general body meeting in Vijayawada on Tuesday. The party let it be known that a survey was conducted across the State to zero in on the constituencies for Pawan's electoral debut.
Anantapur, Tirupati, Rajanagaram, Pithapuram, Bhimavaram, Gajuwaka, Pendurthi, and Icchapuram constituencies were shortlisted. However, after much deliberation and analyzing the pros and cons, it was decided that Pawan will contest from both Bhimavaram and Gajuwaka. He is likely to file his nomination papers soon.
His brother Chiranjeevi, after floating Praja Rajyam Party in 2009, had also contested his maiden elections from two Assembly constituencies - Tirupati and Palacole, the latter also happens to be in West Godavari district.
But, he lost from Palacole. Pawan's choice was not surprising as speculation had been rife that he would contest from Gajuwaka and Bhimavaram. But interestingly, there was no word from JSP on the actor's earlier announcements made much before the poll schedule was out that he would contest from Anantapur.
Pawan has extensively toured the twin Godavari districts and North Andhra recently. He has assured those fighting against the ‘Aqua Food Factory’ in Tunduru village in Bhimavaram mandal, to champion their cause. His allies the Left parties have been agitating on behalf of the ‘Aqua Food Factory’ victims for long. Further, Bhimavaram has a sizeable population of Kapus, a community to which the actor belongs.On the other hand, Gajuwaka reportedly has more than one lakh supporters of Jana Sena, most of them young fans of Pawan and the actor is banking on them to come out with flying colours.
Jana Sena has already sealed an alliance with Mayawati's BSP -- a non-entity in Andhra -- and the two Left parties - CPM and CPI. It is contesting only 140 assembly seats and 18 Lok Sabha constituencies, while the BSP has been given 3 MP and 21 assembly constituencies. The Left parties have been given 4 MP seats and 14 Assembly constituencies though they have been with Pawan for over a year now.
In Gajuwaka, Pawan will face-off with incumbent MLA Palla Srinivas of the TDP and Tippala Nagireddy of the YSRC. In 2014, Nagireddy lost out to Srinivas by a margin of 21,000 votes.
VV Lakshminarayana, who gained popularity for heading the probe against YSRC party chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy in the latter's alleged illegal assets case, will take on Sri Bharath of the TDP and MVV Satyanarayana of the YSRC for Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency. Bharath is son-in-law of actor N Balakrishna.