Pawan Sticks to BJP Script, May Not Power TDP - The New Indian Express

Pawan Sticks to BJP Script, May Not Power TDP

Published: 24th March 2014 07:59 AM

Last Updated: 24th March 2014 09:39 AM

Is Pawan Kalyan in two minds about entering into a grand alliance which includes the TDP?

Informed sources told Express that consequent upon his meeting with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the actor is being advised to have an independent tie-up with the BJP without any relation to the TDP whatsoever.

The BJP too seems to be okay with such a proposition. In fact, it has now come to light that Pawan’s meeting with Modi was firmed up almost a month ago. What more, it was only after an in-principle understanding with the BJP that he had launched his Jana Sena party.

Except a select few, none of the top BJP leaders from Andhra had any clue about the link established between Pawan and Modi.

This perhaps, explains the initial ‘critical’ remarks made by senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu about Pawan’s political plans and his subsequent clarification once he became aware of the unfolding political equation. Though the TDP hasn’t reacted so far to Pawan’s meeting with Modi, the development appears to have caused it some discomfiture. Lending credence to this behind-the-scenes drama, Seemandhra BJP leader Somu Veera Raju announced Sunday Pawan was against any alliance with a “regional party.”

Raju, who had accompanied the actor to Modi, told Express Pawan is averse to joining hands with any regional party including the TDP.

Interestingly, Raju has been opposing BJP-TDP alliance from the beginning. “Pawan has spoken to a top BJP leader over phone today and discussed political developments in the State,” sources said, indicating that the star is in constant touch with top BJP leadership.

A senior BJP leader, however, sought to interpret this evolving political equation differently. Terming Jana Sena a nascent party, he said it is always possible for the BJP to first arrive at an agreement on seat-sharing with the TDP and then, offer some seats to Pawan Kalyan.

Admitting that the ongoing alliance talks with the TDP are facing rough weather in both Telangana and Seemandhra, the BJP leader, however, said, “Though the degree of differences (between the two parties) varies in the two regions, we believe at least in Seemandhra Modi-Naidu combination will be a lethal weapon given the fact that development is a major issue in the residuary State.”

He clarified that the two parties haven’t put a full stop to the seat-sharing talks. Contacted by Express, BJP national general secretary Muralidhara Rao said alliance between the TDP and his party has not taken a concrete shape yet. “Both of us basically conveyed our intent to go together. That’s where the matters stand as of now. This is something like a letter of intent,” he said.

In Telangana, indications from the BJP are that the party’s central leadership might not ignore the demand of the State unit, which is vehemently opposing tie-up with the TDP. BJP Telangana unit chief G Kishan Reddy ridiculed reports of talks with the TDP. “Don’t we have any work other than this? Prakash Javadekar is here only to finalise party candidates for the polls, not for discussing alliances. In fact, we are not holding any negotiations with any party. We are planning to go it alone for now,” he asserted.

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