Together to survival, ‘save democracy’

This is their first such meeting since 2014 when Pawan lent his support to the TDP.

Published: 19th October 2022 05:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th October 2022 05:33 AM   |  A+A-

JSP chief Pawan Kalyan threatens to thrash YSRC leaders at his party office in Mangalagiri on Tuesday

JSP chief Pawan Kalyan threatens to thrash YSRC leaders at his party office in Mangalagiri on Tuesday

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Soon after Jana Sena chief and actor Pawan Kalyan declared ‘total war’ against the ruling YSRCP and predicted a change in the political landscape of the State, former chief minister and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu called on him at the Novotel Hotel here Tuesday. This is their first such meeting since 2014 when Pawan lent his support to the TDP.

Tellingly, after the meeting, both leaders agreed that ‘all political parties should join hands to protect democracy in the State’— indicating that the much-anticipated realignment of political forces is taking shape. Addressing a joint press meet, Naidu said he had come straight to the hotel from the airport to extend solidarity with Pawan.

“I have not informed anyone... It was painful to see the way Pawan was treated by the police in Vizag,” he said and accused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government of making a mockery of democracy. The former chief minister claimed he had not seen a party such as the YSRC in his 40-year career and recalled that when Pawan visited Vizag, one police officer made him wait on the road and streetlights were switched off along his route from the airport to the hotel.

“There is no democracy in the State for the last three-and-a-half years. They (YSRC) attacked the TDP office and booked cases against TDP leaders! Can there be anything more outrageous?” Naidu questioned and observed that the same treatment was being meted out to Pawan. The TDP chief stressed the need to ensure the existence of political parties in the State.

It is our responsibility to protect democracy: Naidu

“Does anyone have freedom to speak openly? If need be, we will discuss with other political parties too. It is our responsibility to protect democracy. We requested Pawan Kalyan to join hands in our fight to protect democracy,” he said.

Pawan too agreed with Naidu that not only Jana Sena and TDP, but also his ally BJP was suffering due to the “vindictive” attitude of the ruling party. “Under the circumstances, there is a need for all parties and people’s organisations to save democracy,” he said.

To repeated queries on a possible alliance between the two parties, both Pawan and Naidu insisted that there was time for talking about electoral tie-ups. “It cannot be decided in a day. This is not the time to talk of electoral alliances. Saving democracy is the need of the hour,” Pawan said, adding that he would change his strategies to fight the YSRC.

It is interesting to note that earlier in the day, during his high decibel address to party leaders, Pawan admitted that BJP has yet to give a roadmap for both sides to work together. Reiterating that he has respect for the Prime Minister and the BJP, he said it did not mean he had to remain quiet. “They have not given a roadmap... meanwhile rowdies are ruling the roost and I may have to change my strategies to protect my people,” he said.

Reliable sources close to the TDP leadership told TNIE that the meeting between Pawan and Naidu is the first step in the direction of an alliance in 2024 elections. If the BJP refuses to play ball, it is very likely that Pawan and Naidu could sound out the left parties. “Though the situation is fluid, it is likely that 2024 could see a Maha Kutami (grand alliance) of TDP, Jana Sena and the left parties,” the sources said.

‘BJP HASN’T GIVEN ROADMAP YET’
Reiterating that he has respect for the PM and the BJP, Pawan said it did not mean he had to remain quiet. “They have not given a roadmap... meanwhile rowdies are ruling the roost and I may have to change my strategies to protect my people,” the JSP chief said

Does anyone have freedom to speak openly? If need be, we will discuss with other parties too. It is our responsibility to protect democracy. We requested Pawan to join hands in our fight to protect democracy
N Chandrababu Naidu, TDP chief

Why did you (Pawan Kalyan) keep quiet when the previous TDP govt humiliated Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham and family? Did you get a paralytic attack?
Perni Nani,  YSRC leader and former minister



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