VIJAYAWADA: Actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan's scathing attack on the failure of the BJP and TDP in according special category status upon Andhra Pradesh has triggered a verbal war among political parties. While TDP leaders launched a reprisal on Pawan, all other parties including BJP went soft and spoke in support of the Jana Sena chief. Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu himself chose to tread cautiously and stated that he does not fear anyone or anything when it comes to people.
Despite it being a Sunday, TDP MPs one after the other decided to react and express their objections to Pawan's statements. Anantapur MP J C Diwakar Reddy offered to quit the TDP and his seat in Parliament as urged by Pawan Kalyan if doing so guarantee special category status for the state. "He (Pawan) was emotional and lacked clarity in his speech. This is not a film, this is reality and Pawan Kalyan should understand the parliamentary system before criticising our functioning," Diwakar Reddy said. He said the actor neither had the experience nor the age to understand how governments work.
In Visakhapatnam district, Anakapalle MP Avanti Srinivasa Rao took strong objection to the Jana Sena chief for making personal accusations. He challened Pawan Kalyan to stop giving speeches and join mainstream politics.
YSR Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vijaya Sai Reddy felt that there was no commitment in Pawan Kalyan's speech but invited the latter to join YSR Congress' fight for special category status.
During his visit to Anantapur, the chief minister took objection to Pawan's statements on the TDP's committment to special category status. "It was not correct on his (Pawan) part to criticise me and TDP. I do not fear anyone or anything. We are committed to the cause of achieving special category status for AP as well as other benefits promised under the AP Reorganisation Act.
We are fighting for the cause without any compromise," he said. Naidu further affirmed that his party was continuing in the Union government only to protect the state's interests.
Meanwhile, a few people posing as Jana Sena leaders appeared on TV talk shows and chose to explain, deduce and even interpret what Pawan meant in his speech at Tirupati. The public relations office of the party hurriedly sent out a release stating that none of these people represents Jana Sena.
The party stated that it would issue statements from time to time from its office until its state and district-level committees are constituted.
BJP MLC Somu Veerraju said Pawan Kalyan should meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and directly speak to him on the special category status issue. He said that everyone including Pawan Kalyan has the right to speak on the issue. He also offered to arrange a meeting with the Prime Minister for the actor. He reiterated that the BJP-led central government was extending all possible support to Andhra Pradesh.