NEW DELHI :Jana Sena president and Tollywood superstar Pawan Kalyan is expected to meet BJP working president J.P. Nadda and national president and Union Home minister Amit Shah on Sunday. Pawan arrived in New Delhi on Friday evening and he is accompanied by his party colleague and former Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly Nadendla Manohar.
Pawan Kalyan has also sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but there was no confirmation of it till Saturday, sources close to the actor-turned-politician said. There is a possibility of the BJP agreeing to support Pawan’s agitations as long as he supports the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. Pawan’s visit to Delhi is meant to cement ties with the BJP leadership.
Pawan Kalyan, the younger brother of another Tollywood star and former Union minister K. Chiranjeevi, entered active politics six years ago, but he supported and canvassed for BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Modi in 2014 elections. Then, the BJP contested elections in alliance with the TDP and as a result, Pawan shared the dais with both Modi and Chandrababu Naidu then.
After that, Pawan registered his Jana Sena party with the Election Commission and built the party as an independent force. In the 2019 elections, he contested against Naidu’s TDP and maintained distance from BJP too. On the other hand, he formed an alliance with BSP and CPI and allotted them around 40 Assembly seats.
Since the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress came to power in Andhra Pradesh with 151 out of 175 Assembly seats, Pawan Kalyan started drifting closer to TDP and BJP too and intensified his attacks against the Jagan government on various issues. Recently, Pawan Kalyan staged a protest against the sand shortage in Andhra and lashed out at Chief Minister Jagan for its artificial scarcity.
YSR Congress senior leaders, including municipal administration minister Botsa Satyanarayana, attacked Pawan for being a pawn in the hands of Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP. “If Lokesh is the own son of Naidu, Pawan is his foster son,” said YSR Congress MLA and spokesman Ambati Rambabu who maintained that Jana Sena was currently funded by the former chief minister.
Significantly, Naidu too has started showing signals that he is open to work with the BJP at both the national and state levels. On a host of issues, there is close coordination between TDP and Jana Sena and both the parties are also soft on the BJP leadership and the Prime Minister. Of course, there is no definite indication from the BJP that it would be ready to work with TDP and Jana Sena.
In this Delhi tour, Pawan is expected to bring to the notice of the BJP leadership the “anti-people policies” of the Jagan government in the last six months. Prominent among them are the stopping of all works at Amaravati capital and the cancellation of major irrigation and infrastructure projects like a startup city promoted by a Singapore government led consortium.
Pawan Kalyan would also bring up the scarcity of sand which is an important component of building industry in Andhra for the last few months. Pawan recently held a protest demonstration in the north-coastal Andhra Pradesh highlighting the scarcity of sand and the role of the state government behind it. Pawan alleged that the ruling party leaders were responsible for the sand shortage.
Another issue where Pawan, the TDP and the BJP are on the same page is Jagan government’s decision to introduce English medium in primary schools. The actor is of the view that the move would hurt the growth and usage of Telugu, the official language in Andhra Pradesh. Former CM Naidu and BJP state president Kanna Lakshminarayana too criticised Jagan for the English medium move.
Apart from seeking the blessings of the BJP leadership to his agitation activities, Pawan Kalyan, according to sources, is also interested in working together with the national party in Andhra. More details are expected after Pawan’s meetings with the BJP top brass.