VIJAYAWADA: Is it the end of the road for Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan in politics? Will he be back to tinsel town and engage in his old profession — acting? Kalyan, who contested from Bhimavaram in West Godavari district and Gajuwaka in Visakhapatnam district, has tasted defeat at both places.
In Bhimavaram, he came second by snaring a vote share of 32.43 per cent, with YSRC candidate Grandhi Srinivas, against whom he went ballistic during the run-up to elections, secured 36.78 per cent.
In Gajuwaka, Kalyan was relegated to the third position with a vote share of 28.6 per cent, while Palla Srinivasa Rao of the TDP came second with a vote share of 28.87 per cent. YSRC candidate Tippala Nagi Reddy won the Assembly segment by capturing 38.12 per cent votes.
As the results started emerging on Thursday, Jana Sena office in Vijayawada wore a deserted look. The party leaders, expecting such a situation, have asked the party activists not to come to Vijayawada from the districts.
Before elections, Kalyan was expected to bag Bhimavaram by virtue of his charisma and, of course, the caste factor. As he is from the Kapu community, it was expected the party would corner most votes from that community. However, the poll verdict proved these predictions wrong. Neither charisma nor the Kapu factor worked in the Jana Sena chief's favour. Immediately after April 11, it was expected that Kalyan had chances of winning Gajuwaka as compared to Bhimavaram. But, yet again, these predictions too were proved wrong — he came third in Gajuwaka.
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Speaking to mediapersons later on Thursday evening, the Jana Sena chief said he is not discouraged by the defeat and will continue in politics till his last breath and fight for a change in society and politics. He thanked the voters who cast vote in his favour, Jana Sena activists and supporters, who stood by him.
Congratulating YSRC chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party for its victory in elections and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his win, Pawan Kalyan asked Jagan to keep his promise to fight for Special Category Status to the State.
Kalyan, himself might not have expected the outcome. The party has performed worse than what was indicated in the exit polls.
In 2014 elections, allying with the TDP and the BJP, the Jana Sena had made a difference in the final outcome. However, it failed to do the same this time around.
Party insiders said the results were predictable, given the lukewarm response the party got during the run-up to the elections. Kalyan was accused of imitating the TDP in vilifying YSRC chief Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party.
Now, with results having been declared, more leaders from the party may quit. Iy may be noted a few days after the elections, party spokesperson Addepalli Sridhar announced of staying away from party activities. A couple of weeks later, the party's founding member and its treasurer Marisetty Raghavaiah called it quits.