With Naidu in jail, pact is cemented: Pawan Kalyan announces Jana Sena-TDP alliance for Andhra polls

He announced the alliance after discussing the political climate in the state and the alleged vindictive politics of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Sep 14, 2023 | 3:52 PMUpdatedSep 14, 2023 | 3:52 PM

TDP Jana Sena alliance

The arrest of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the skill development scam seems to have helped cement the much-awaited TDP-Jana Sena alliance — a development that could have a significant impact on the 2024 elections to the Assembly and the Lok Sabha in the state.

“Jana Sena and TDP will contest the elections together next year. I have faith in Chandrababu Naidu’s leadership and experience,” declared Jana Sena president Pawan Kalyan on Thursday, 14 September.

The announcement came after a meeting the actor-politician had with Chandrababu Naidu, in the company of TDP leader and actor N Balakrishna, and Naidu’s son and TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh, at the Rajamahendravaram Central Jail during “mulaqat” hour.

Pawan Kalyan announced the alliance after discussing the political climate in the state and the alleged vindictive politics of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s administration.

Related: Andhra Pradesh CID chief says Naidu is thoroughly guilty

Emphasises need to oust YSRCP

Speaking to reporters, the Jana Sena chief emphasised the need to oust the YSRCP government at the hustings and expressed the hope that the BJP would join the effort. He stated that his primary goal was to put Andhra Pradesh back on the road to development.

He referred to Chandrababu Naidu as a seasoned politician and labelled Jagan Mohan Reddy as an economic offender.

Pawan Kalyan lamented the imprisonment of the “architect of Cyberabad” and expressed his intention to bring this issue to the attention of the prime minister and the Union home minister, highlighting Naidu’s “unfair treatment” by the Andhra government. He stressed the importance of providing proper security to Naidu.

Pawan Kalyan has long been advocating an alliance of all Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh, including the BJP, to challenge the YSRCP regime.

However, the BJP has been reluctant to confirm its participation in this three-party alliance, despite its desire to have Pawan Kalyan on its side. The BJP and Jana Sena are in a formal alliance.

Following his meeting with Naidu, Pawan Kalyan made an unequivocal statement about the alliance with Naidu.

Related: Andhra HC to hear Naidu’s quash petition on 19 September

Makes stand clear

The tone of his speech indicated that his decision was final, regardless of whether the BJP approved of it or not. It seemed like a message to the BJP to chart its course if it was unwilling to cooperate.

While Pawan Kalyan has previously shown support for Chandrababu Naidu, he had never been this explicit about contesting elections in alliance with him.

This shift may have occurred because the BJP reportedly had reservations about Naidu and did not want Pawan Kalyan to associate with him. However, the actor-politician has now made his support clear, regardless of the BJP’s stance.

He stated: “My decision may not please some people. I was the first person from South India to support Narendra Modi because I believed the nation needed a strong leader. When I supported Modi, many people criticised my decision. However, I do not go back on my stand once I take a decision.”

The Jana Sena chief clarified that he had never met Narendra Modi on his own and that each meeting was at Modi’s invitation. He stated that he didn’t want to waste such leaders’ time.

Also read: With Naidu’s arrest, battle for 2024 has begun; but who will benefit?

Expresses confidence in Naidu

He said he had extended support for the BJP and TDP alliance in 2014, as there was a need for experienced leadership in the newly-bifurcated state of Andhra Pradesh. He expressed his continued confidence in Chandrababu Naidu’s abilities, even if he disagreed with some of his policy initiatives.

Pawan Kalyan strongly disapproved of the YSRCP’s alleged fabrication of corruption charges against Chandrababu Naidu.

He questioned the fairness of blaming the chairman of a bank for an employee’s embezzlement of money and argued that the state had witnessed lawlessness for the past four years. He viewed Naidu’s arrest as part of this reign of chaos.

He cautioned police officials against blindly following Jagan Mohan Reddy’s directives and warned them that even the director general of police (DGP) and chief secretary could face inquiries into their actions.

He declared that they were ready to face any challenges if Jagan Mohan Reddy sought confrontation. He advised the officials to rectify their mistakes as they still had six months (before state Assembly elections).