by IANS | Fri, Oct 20, 2023, 11:04 AM
Hyderabad, Oct 20 (IANS) A seat-sharing agreement between BJP and actor politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena for the next month’s Assembly elections in Telangana appears unlikely while the leaders of saffron party are busy in Delhi giving final touches to the first list of candidates.
Pawan Kalyan is under pressure from Jana Sena Party (JSP) cadres in Telangana to contest the elections this time and the party has already released a list of 32 seats it wants to contest.
Many of the constituencies where JSP wants to field candidates are in urban areas, especially in and around Hyderabad. The party hopes to bank on Pawan Kalyan’s fan following and the voters hailing from Andhra Pradesh. Political observers say since these are the urban segments where BJP too claims to have a good support base, it may not agree to leave them for the JSP.
BJP state president G. Kishan Reddy and party MP K. Laxman called on Pawan Kalyan two days ago requesting him to campaign for the party candidates. The JSP leader, however, informed them that his party plans to contest at least 30 seats.
He recalled that in 2014 he had campaigned for TDP and BJP candidates in Andhra Pradesh and on the request of BJP leadership did not contest Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections in 2021.
The actor politician conveyed to the BJP leaders that if this time JSP does not contest at least 30 seats in Telangana, this would affect the morale of the party.
Kishan Reddy declined to reveal what he discussed with Pawan Kalyan but there have been no indications so far from the saffron camp that it is keen for an electoral alliance with the JSP. The BJP leaders have all along maintained that the party will contest the Telangana elections on its own.
Pawan Kalyan’s JSP is a constituent of BJP-led NDA. Last month, he announced alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh for the next year’s polls and hoped that BJP will also join them to avoid a split of anti-YSRCP votes.
JSP’s alliance with TDP, however, may not extend to Telangana. Facing a crisis due to the arrest of its leader and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in a corruption case in Andhra Pradesh, TDP remained undecided about its plans for Telangana elections.
On October 2, the JSP released a list of 32 Assembly seats saying it is ready to contest on these seats to realize the goal of the Telangana movement.
They include Kukatpally, Uppal, LB Nagar, Malkajgiri, Serilingampally, Medchal, Patancheru, Qutubullapur and Sanathnagar constituencies in and around Hyderabad. The list also includes constituencies in undivided Khammam district. All these constituencies have a considerable number of voters of Andhra origin.
Pawan Kalyan, who also comes from Andhra Pradesh, has a huge fan following among youngsters. The party also hopes to secure support of ‘settlers’, as people from Andhra Pradesh are called.
TDP-BJP alliance had polled a good number of votes in these constituencies in 2014. The BJP leaders say that the party has a good support base in these urban constituencies.
JSP had not fielded candidates in the 2018 Assembly elections. Its leaders claim the decision was taken not to create political uncertainty in the newly-created. However, this time Pawan Kalyan is under pressure as the leaders from Telangana have conveyed to him that if the party backtracks on its decision it may lose the cadres.
Pawan Kalyan’s party had fielded four candidates for Lok Sabha elections in Telangana in 2019 but all of them were defeated.
At a meeting with Pawan Kalyan two days ago, the JSP leaders told him that if the party does not contest the elections in Telangana this time, the cadres will be demoralized.
In June, Pawan Kalyan had appointed incharges for 26 Assembly constituencies in Telangana and had asked the party leaders from the state to prepare for contesting the coming elections.
He had said that JSP will work to fulfill the aspirations of Telangana movement. The actor politician had said that 1,300 martyrs laid down their lives for Telangana and though the separate state was achieved their expectations remained unfulfilled.
Pawan Kalyan had also told the JSP leaders that he would soon undertake a campaign on his special campaign vehicle ‘Varahi’ in Telangana.
Elections for 119-member Telangana Assembly are scheduled on November 30.