JSP joining hands with TDP leaves BJP in quandary
A core committee meeting of the Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP, which met at Vijayawada on Tuesday, discussed the fallout of Pawan Kalyan’s party and the way forward for the party, in the event of a breakup between the Jana Sena and the BJP
HyderabadThe recent announcement by Jana Sena Party (JSP) president and popular Telugu film actor Pawan Kalyan that his party would have an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headed by former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the assembly elections early next year has landed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a piquant situation.
As the BJP’s Andhra Pradesh unit has been in alliance with the Jana Sena Party for the last three years, the latest decision of Pawan Kalyan to join hands with the TDP has come as a big embarrassment to the BJP leaders.
A core committee meeting of the Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP, which met at Vijayawada on Tuesday, discussed the fallout of Pawan Kalyan’s party and the way forward for the party, in the event of a breakup between the Jana Sena and the BJP.
The meeting was attended by BJP state president Daggubati Purandeshwari, former chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao, former Union minister Sujana Chowdary and former MLC Madhav, among others.
After the meeting, Purandeshwari told reporters that for now, the alliance between the BJP and Jana Sena Party still continues. “We have nothing to say about the alliance between Jana Sena and the TDP,” she added.
She said there was no need to comment on whatever Pawan Kalyan was doing. “It is for him to take decisions on behalf of his party. It is for him to decide on the friendship with the BJP,” Purandeshwari said.
In fact, for the last one year, Pawan Kalyan has been hinting at a possible alliance with the TDP and hoping to bring the BJP also into the loop to fight against the ruling YSR Congress party (YSRCP) led by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in the coming elections.
At his party’s foundation day rally at Guntur in March this year, the JSP chief declared that he would make all out efforts to see that the anti-incumbency vote in Andhra Pradesh would not split and there was a need for like-minded forces coming together to pull down the Jagan government.
The actor met the TDP president twice in the last one year – once on October 19, 2022 at Vijayawada and later on January 8 this year. Both the leaders declared that they would put up a joint fight against the Jagan Mohan Reddy government.
Pawan Kalyan also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December last year and BJP national president J P Nadda in April this year and explained the need to have an alliance among the Jana Sena, the BJP and the TDP.
Even the TDP president met Union home minister Amit Shah and Nadda on June 4 and again Nadda separately on August 9, but there was no positive response from the BJP over an alliance with the TDP.
Against this backdrop, Kalyan met Naidu at Rajahmundry Central Jail on September 12, a day after the latter was lodged there in connection with the skill development corporation scam. He also held discussions with Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh and brother-in-law Nandamuri Balakrishna, before declaring to the reporters that the Jana Sena would have an alliance with the TDP in the coming assembly and general elections in Andhra Pradesh.
“The time has come for the opposition parties to come together to fight against the Jagan Mohan Reddy government and see that the YSRCP is voted out of power in the next elections. I hope the BJP will join us in the fight,” Kalyan said.
Both the TDP and Jana Sena Party have decided to form a coordination committee to chalk out a common programme of action for the coming elections. While JSP leaders are actively taking part in the demonstrations of the TDP in protest against Naidu’s arrest, the TDP ranks also participated in the Varahi Yatra of Pawan Kalyan in Krishna district in the last two days.
BJP IN A QUANDARY
Though a couple of BJP leaders including Purandeshwari condemned the arrest and alleged harassment of Naidu in the skill development and other cases, they did it in their individual capacity but the BJP, as a party, has not taken any stand on the issue.
A senior BJP leader familiar with the matter said the issue of Naidu’s arrest came up for discussion during the Tuesday’s core committee meeting of the party. “Some party leaders brought to the notice of Purandeshwari about the campaign on social media that Naidu was arrested by the Jagan government only with the blessings of the BJP national leadership. So far, there has been no denial from the BJP and hence, they felt the party should take a stand on the same,” he said.
The BJP core committee leaders were also upset with the decision of Pawan Kalyan for unilaterally deciding to support the TDP. “Since the elections are not far away, it is time the BJP make it clear whether it would join the alliance or go independently,” the leader quoted above said.
Purandeshwari said she would not like to comment on the prospective alliances of the BJP. “Ours is a national party. The decision on whom to have an alliance with would be decided by the national leadership. Till then, we shall focus only on strengthening our party in Andhra Pradesh,” she added.
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