Seven months after suffering a humiliating defeat in the elections, Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan announced the Jana Sena Party (JSP) alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.
The re-alignment was announced by Pawan Kalyan and BJP's state chief Kanna Lakshminarayana in the presence of BJP's central leaders Sunil Deodhar and G.V.L. Narasimha Rao at a news conference in Vijayawada.
Pawan Kalyan said his talks with BJP leaders paved the way for alliance and that he was confident both the parties would solve minor differences and work together and come to power in the State in 2024.
It may be recollected that in the simultaneous elections held to the Andhra Pradesh (AP) State Assembly and Lok Sabha last year, BJP could not win a single seat while JSP bagged one Assembly seat. Pawan Kalyan himself lost from both the Assembly seats of Gajuwaka and Bhimavaram, where he had contested.
After this dismal defeat, the JSP chief has been making desperate attempts to stay in the political limelight coming out now and then with special rallies and meetings addressing his fans and followers. Not to forget, his statements about the current political situation with a lot of gusto.
Examining the political stance of the actor-turned politician from when he started the Jana Sena Party, he has changed his ideologies as when he chose to, based on the political situation.
Pawan Kalyan had campaigned for BJP-TDP alliance in 2014. He later severed ties with both the parties over the issue of special category status.
At one point, he claimed to be a left-oriented and shared the dais with Communist leaders claiming that he was introduced to Marxism by his father.
In a fiery speech during one his campaigns he said that the Argentinean leader Che Guevara was his role model, and went to the extent of wearing the similar cap and coat to please his fans and not to forget the picture of Che on his banners. He is said to have read more than 400 books and was highly influenced by the Marxist philosophy and the Communist manifesto
This was all fine, and then he trained his guns on the BJP during the Praja Porata Yatra held at Kovvuru in West Godavari district in October 2019. In his true inimitable dramatic speech, he said that he would rather die than merge with BJP. He said that whether we live or die there was no question of joining the BJP and that he would uphold the pride and respect of the Telugu people and would save it from destruction.
Speaking after the joint fact finding Committee initial exercise was conducted in March 4th, 2018, Pawan Kalyan said that Modi Governemnt had not given the ''stale'' special package, which was promised. He went on to say that, the people of Andhra Pradesh were at loss due to the chaos created by the BJP -led Central government. The Govt had not implemented any of the aspects mentioned in the AP Reorganisation Act since the past four years, he said. He claimed that he had the moral responsibility to answer the people of the State as they assumed him to be a part of the TDP and the BJP.
While speaking at a public rally at Chittoor in March 2019, he came out with another volatile speech while playing to the public gallery. " BJP leaders who are doubting my patriotism should be in their limits. We will not keep quiet if they say whatever they want to and if I start talking the BJP leaders won't be able to talk again," he warned.
While talking during the Party Formation Day celebrations in Rajahmundry in East Godavari district on the 14th of March in 2019, he lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that Modi had cheated Andhra Pradesh." If he had any anger towards Chandrababu he should show it on him, why he is he directing the angst against the State, Pawan questioned.
On April 3rd, 2019 the JSP formed an alliance with BSP before the General Elections. While speaking in the Meet the Press session in Visakhapatnam, he again went on a tirade on Narendra Modi and criticised him for wearing a Rs 10 lakh suit. He said that the PM had wasted public money and that he would also question the PM about the money spent on erecting Sardar Vallabhai statue in Gujarat.
During the inauguration of the JSP office in Vijayawada in October 2018, Pawan Kalyan said that he wasn't related to either Modi or Amit Shah. Due to the lack of accountability the State could not achieve the Special Status , he fumed. He blamed Modi and Shah for failing to keep up to the promise of granting Special Category Status for AP.
While speaking during a rally in Devarapalli bus stand in West Godavari , Pawan Kalyan said that even though Amit Shah called him to join the BJP after the 2014 elections , he refused. Now why this decision to form an alliance with BJP after five years of public bashing is what political analysts are asking.
While Pawan Kalyan had campaigned extensively for BJP-TDP alliance in 2014, he later severed ties with both the parties over the issue of Special Category status.
What was more shocking was that Pawan said, that he owned nothing to the Communists with whom he had close relations. Pawan Kalyan, who contested with the Left parties in the previous AP assembly elections in 2019, has now literally deceived them by forming an alliance with the BJP. In the press meet on January 16th, 2019 the Jana Sena chief said, " I worked for the BJP even before joining hands with Left parties and JSP will ally with BJP for AP's future."
The Jana Sena chief who initially criticized the Centre about their stand on special status to AP, has handily changed his word, after he met with BJP leaders.
The actor has now conveniently criticised Telugu Desam Party president Chandrababu Naidu for accepting a special package, instead of special status to AP, but now he openly supports the BJP's special package proposal for the state.
This cannot even be called a U Turn as this is not the first time he has changed his stance. Political analysts say that this is the only way out for him to stay relevant in politics and save his sagging political career. However, this would also result in Pawan Kalyan hurting his political image as he has a huge fan following as the leader who speaks the 'truth' and fights for the 'cause of justice' irrespective of any party. This flamboyant talking leader now joining hands with the BJP has also not gone down well with a section of his followers who are disappointed with his move.
Also Read: BJP-JSP: Will It Be A Merger Or Alliance?