The JSP chairman again appeals to the BJP to join the opposition’s “grand alliance” against the YSRCP in the next assembly elections after meeting Chandrababu Naidu in Rajahmundry jail.
Petr KalyanAfter meeting TDP leader N Chandrababu on Thursday at Rajahmundry Central Prison in Andhra Pradesh, Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan (PTI Photo)
K Pawan Kalyan, an actor-turned-politician and leader of the Jana Sena Party (JSP), announced Thursday that his party will form an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to challenge the governing Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in the elections, which are less than seven months away.
In the Rajahmundry Central Jail, where he had seen TDP President and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Kalyan expressed to media his hope that the BJP would also join their coalition against the YSRCP.
In the wake of Naidu’s incarceration, Andhra Pradesh politics have heated up ahead of the synchronized state Assembly elections and the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April-May 2024.
“Today, I made the decision that JSP and TDP would work together to run for office together in the 2024 elections. We cannot defeat YSRCP on our own. I hoped that the BJP would support me in my fight against the YSRCP. BJP might still decide to join us, I suppose. Though the BJP has not made a decision, Kalyan remarked, “I remain quite optimistic.
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He was accompanied by actor N Balakrishna, a TDP MLA from Hindupur, and N Lokesh Naidu, son of Chandrababu Naidu. Lokesh Naidu and Balakrishna were introduced to me by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. The YSRCP cannot afford to be the government in Andhra Pradesh. Together, the TDP and JSP will oppose it,” Kalyan declared.
Kalyan and the TDP leaders spent some time with Naidu in the jail.
The state CID detained Naidu from Nandyal early on Saturday in connection with the suspected multi-million dollar AP State Skill Development Corporation fraud that involved his administration’s term from 2014 to 2019. On Sunday night, a Vijayawada Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court sentenced Naidu to 14 days of judicial prison. Following the court’s directive, he was transferred to Rajahmundry Central Jail, 200 kilometers from Vijayawada.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court continued the hearing on Naidu’s plea to September 19 in order to consider his request to have the FIR lodged against him in this alleged scheme quashed. The CID was ordered by the high court to provide a response to the case.
The hearing on the CID’s request for Naidu’s detention as well as Naidu’s request for anticipatory bail in another case against him involving suspected irregularities in the Amaravati inner ring road construction case were both postponed by the high court until September 18.
Kalyan has been promoting the Opposition’s “grand alliance” against the Jagan regime for several months, asking the saffron party to join the TDP-JSP alliance in this regard. Kalyan’s party is already a partner of the BJP-led NDA.
Before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the TDP left the NDA on a bitter note, with the then-CM Naidu accusing the BJP-run Central Government of neglecting Andhra Pradesh and failing to grant it special category status.
Kalyan thinks the formidable YSRCP would lose to the grand alliance made up of the TDP, JSP, and BJP. Despite appearing more receptive to Kalyan’s suggestion than it had been at first, the BJP has remained ambivalent about it.
On July 18, when he was invited to the NDA meeting in New Delhi, the JSP leader pressed for the proposal once more. He encouraged key BJP figures, like as Union Home Minister Amit Shah and others, to support the TDP in the elections of 2024 during meetings with senior BJP figures.
Nadendla Manohar, head of the JSP Political Affairs Committee, stated that his party believes that if the opposition wants to topple the YSRCP, their votes should not be divided. “Pawan Kalyan has been conveying to the BJP leadership that our objective is to ensure that the anti-incumbency vote should not split in Andhra Pradesh and for that purpose, there should be an alliance of JSP-TDP-BJP,” he said.
The YSRCP won a landslide of votes in the 2019 elections for the 175-member Assembly, winning 151 seats. The JSP only received 1 seat with 5.54% of the vote, while the TDP received 23 seats with a vote share of 39%.