Image Courtesy: PTI. Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan speaks during a press meet after entering into an alliance with the BJP, in Vijayawada.
On January 16, actor and politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party announced the forging of an alliance with Bharatiya Janata Party in Andhra Pradesh. The leaders of the two parties have announced that they have formed an unconditional alliance and would work together till the 2024 elections. Political analysts, however, argue that the alliance would not make any difference but has only revealed the reactionary side of Pawan Kalyan.
In a press conference on Thursday, Pawan Kalyan praised BJP for constituting the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019.
Reacting to the alliance, Ch Narasinga Rao, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) state president opined that Kalyan or his party has no ideological base. “Left parties had contested the 2019 elections with Jana Sena. At that time, Pawan Kalyan was critical of BJP government at the Centre. His new alliance with BJP shows that he or his party has no ideology. After he claimed to uphold secular values, how can he now join hands with a right-wing communal party?” he questioned. He added that Kalyan’s politics are reactionary in nature and that his politics was limited to targeting YSR Congress party post-elections. He added that the new alliance would not make any difference in the future.
In the present Assembly, Jana Sena has one MLA, Rakapa Vara Prasad Rao, while BJP has none. In the 2019 elections, Jana Sena contested elections in a seat-sharing alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party and Left parties, whereas, BJP contested alone in the state.
“It is not an unconditional alliance. In simple terms, Jana Sena has now agreed to work under the conditions of BJP,” said political analyst Telakapalli Ravi. Speaking on the alliance, Ravi opined that Kalyan had, in the past on several occasions, expressed similar stands like those of the right-wing ruling party on the communal issues.
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The two parties claimed that they will lead a joint movement to oppose the capital city relocation from Amaravati. Ironically, in the first joint press conference, Jana Sena and BJP had different views on the matter. For instance, while Pawan Kalyan had demanded that the High Court be shifted to Kurnool District, BJP state president Kanna Lakshminarayana had said that the party would decide on the matter after seeking people’s opinion. Hundreds of farmers in Guntur and Krishna Districts have been protesting since December against the change of capital from Amaravati.
Pawan Kalyan founded Jana Sena in 2014 and had supported Telugu Desam Party and BJP in the 2014 elections.
“People like me rallied behind Narendra Modi during the 2014 elections believing that he would deliver strong leadership in the country. But, after he took charge as Prime Minister, he was creating fear psychosis in the country,” Kalyan had said in an interview to NDTV in April 2019.
He had earlier also criticised BJP on various issues including Special Status for Andhra Pradesh and on the issue of release of funds to the state.