'We will prepare Jana Sena and TDP cadre for polls': Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan
However, the BJP State unit, in a statement, clarified that party national president JP Nadda and Prime Minister Modi would decide on alliances.
VIJAYAWADA: Jana Sena chief and actor Pawan Kalyan on Thursday finally ended his long-standing ambiguity on the alliance with the TDP and announced that both parties will face elections together. “I hope that BJP will sail along with us. Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows everything about Chief Minister Jagan,” he said.
The actor, flanked by TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu’s son Lokesh and NTR’s son Balakrishna, was speaking at the Rajahmundry Central Prison after a mulakat with the former chief minister, who has been remanded in judicial custody in the Skill Development Corporation scam.
Pawan’s announcement has had the BJP, his current ally, in a spot of bother. The saffron party has yet to take a call on allying with the TDP. However, the BJP State unit, in a statement, clarified that party national president JP Nadda and Prime Minister Modi would decide on alliances. For now, Jana Sena continues to be its ally, the BJP claimed. It is pertinent to note that State BJP chief Daggubati Purandeswari has condemned the manner of Naidu’s arrest, but apart from that, did little to extend support.
Explaining himself, Pawan, who fought against the YSRC and TDP in 2019, clarified that talks on seat-sharing would be held later. “We will prepare Jana Sena and TDP cadre for polls. Who are YSRC leaders to tell us to fight alone? Have I advised Jagan to contest from Amalapuram? Jagan is flouting all norms which is the reason why I am standing shoulder to shoulder with Lokesh and Balakrishna today. I strongly condemn Naidu’s arrest. It won’t do to fight separately if we are to end YSRC’s atrocities. They will continue for decades. That is why I have decided today to join hands with TDP,” he said. He claimed he had made the decision keeping in mind the future of the State, not his own.
Lamenting that a leader who had brought former US President Bill Clinton to Cyberabad was now in Rajahmundry jail, he cautioned officials to reconsider what would happen to them.He added that he had taken the issue of Naidu’s security to the notice of the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister.
Pawan Kalyan’s move was expected but the timing, TDP sources said, was perfect. “It is a morale booster for us at this difficult time and will help us capitalise on the sympathy for Chandrababu Naidu,” they said.
With Naidu behind bars and no other leader with a strong statewide appeal in its ranks, it appears that TDP may have to lean heavily on Pawan until at least the former chief minister secures bail. This comes with its own risks. Pawan could easily overshadow Lokesh and other TDP leaders given his cinematic appeal as the power star and could effectively become the TDP’s superstar.
If Naidu’s stay in jail is prolonged, this development could have political implications for the TDP in terms of seat-sharing, but the alliance is expected to make it tough for the ruling YSRC in the elections. Lokesh termed Pawan’s decision historic and said a joint committee would be formed so that Jana Sena and TDP could work in tandem.
Lokesh leaves for Delhi
Lokesh and TDP MP K Rammohan Naidu left for New Delhi on Thursday reportedly to elicit support from national parties over Naidu’s arrest. The party is also likely to raise the issue in the special session of Parliament