Slowly and steadily, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to gain lost ground in Andhra Pradesh. In an important political development in Vijayawada on Thursday, the Jana Sena Party, founded by actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan, announced a tie-up with the BJP.
This political realignment brings back both BJP and Jana Sena in reckoning while the ruling YSR Congress Party and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) remain the main political forces in the state.
At Thursday meeting held between top leaders of the Jana Sena and the BJP, Pawan Kalyan announced “unconditional support” to the BJP.
Since morning, top leaders of two parties discussed the modalities and announced the tie-up late in the afternoon. A coordination committee between these two parties was mooted to chalk out the future course of action.
Recently, Pawan Kalyan had met BJP national working president JP Nadda.
Interestingly, Pawan Kalyan, a top Telugu actor and brother of Megastar Chiranjeevi, after entering politics had supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi and TDP president Nara Chandrababu Naidu in 2014 general elections held both for Lok Sabha as well as for the state.
However, in 2019 elections, Jana Sena contested on its own and could manage only two assembly seats while Pawan Kalyan lost from both the seats he had contested. Also, Jana Sena’s tie-up with Mayawati-led BSP did not yield desired results.
“We were working on this tie-up for quite some time now. Our tie-up is aimed at 2024 elections in the state because both ruling YSRCP and the TDP are just indulging in a political fight with each other, ignoring the development of the state,” said state BJP president Kanna Laxminarayana.
Speaking on the occasion, Pawan Kalyan said right from 2014 he was inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also gave his two cents on the Citizenship Amendment Act and said he supported the BJP government on the issue.
“We have studied CAA in-depth and found merit in the Act. We feel BJP is doing many things in the interest of the nation and we have no hesitation in joining hands with BJP,” he said,
The ruling YSRCP reacted sharply to this new development.
“Pawan Kalyan doesn’t have political stability. Earlier, he was with the BJP and the TDP then he went on his own and again coming back to BJP. This is just political opportunism,” charged YSRCP MLA Ambati Rambabu.