Jana Sena founder Pawan Kalyan is entering the election scene in Andhra Pradesh in a big way for the first time fielding candidates in all 175 assembly constituencies with his allies. The actor-turned-politician reckons that he would play a key role in government formation after May 23. However, while Pawan feels that he has a big chance of decising fortunes post elections, neither his supporters, nor members of his family seem to repose the same confidence in him. With the sole exception of his elder brother Naga Babu who is contesting from Narsapuram from the Lok Sabha. Contrast this with the extensive support which Megastar Chiranjeevi drew when he set up his Praja Rajyam Party. His family, members of his community a also the film fraternity backed him. It is something else that Chiranjeevi made a hash of his political career with his decision to merge PRP with the Congress. For one thing, Pawan Kalyan does not enjoy the same level of support or goodwill in the industry compared to Chiranjeevi. For another, his alliance in BJP and TDP in 2014 without putting up candidates, dented his image to a large extent. What proved even worse for him in terms of his own brand as a political entity was his covert understanding with Chandrababu Naidu whom he had criticized strongly over a few months ago.

For a time, it appeared that Pawan, with his sharp barbs at the TDP supremo and Nara Lokesh would go it alone in the 2019 elections. But that was not to be. As events unfolded, it became clear that the Jana Sena founder had a not so secret pact with the ruling TDP fielding candidates to suit Chandrababu Naidu’s purpose. In fact, a TDP leader was caught saying on video that the two parties should be seen as allies, though there was ‘some disturbance’ earlier. The video which has gone viral nails the Jana Sena founder’s claim of taking on the ruling party and the YSRCP as a third independent political alternative in the state. It is perhaps on account of this reason that the Konidela family has distanced itself from Pawan Kalyan’s more recent political activities with the sole exception of Naga Babu.

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