Ignoring TDP, Telangana BJP reaches out to Pawan Kalyan for support

Pawan’s JSP is part of the NDA at the national level, but it’s joined hands with the TDP for the state assembly polls.

WrittenBy:Yunus Y Lasania
Pawan Kalyan and a map of Telangana.

The Bharatiya Janata Party in Telangana has asked for support of the Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena Party in the upcoming assembly elections to be held on November 30. State BJP president G Kishan Reddy and Rajya Sabha MP K Laxman both met the actor-politician on October 18 to seek support from the JSP. 

BJP’s Telangana spokesperson NV Subhash said Kishan Reddy and Laxman had made a “courtesy” call to Pawan Kalyan. “We wanted to ask for the support of Jana Sena, but we don't want TDP in Telangana,” he told TNM.

At the national level, the JSP is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. However, Pawan Kalyan announced earlier that his party will contest seats and is likely to join hands with the Telugu Desam Party. TDP state president Kasani Gnaneswar too said that the party will contest the elections with the JSP. 

Meanwhile, the BJP, which is trying to expand its footprint in Telangana, wants the support of Pawan Kalyan. It, however, does not want anything to do with the TDP. It is to be seen if the JSP agrees to help the BJP, given that it had already announced that it will contest in 32 seats for the upcoming elections and potentially help the TDP. 

Political analyst Palwai Satyanarayana Reddy said the current scenario involving the BJP, JSP and TDP is an extension of the political situation in Andhra Pradesh. 

“The BJP has no vote bank right now in Andhra Pradesh. The dominant Reddy and Kamma communities are with the governing YSR Congress Party and the main opposition TDP,” he said. “Kapus, who claim to be around 20 percent of the population, seem to be veering towards the JSP,  so BJP is willing to work with Pawan Kalyan to tap into the Kapus.”

He continued, “The general sentiment among the people of Andhra Pradesh is that national parties have cheated them. That is why BJP and Congress got less than one percent of the vote in the 2019 assembly and Lok Sabha elections.”

In the 2018 assembly polls, the TDP aligned itself with the Congress to take on the governing Bharat Rashtra Samithi. The move failed and the BRS won 88 out of 119 seats, while the Congress and TDP won 19 and two seats respectively. TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu, who is currently in prison for his alleged involvement in Andhra Pradesh’s ‘skill development’ scam, quit the NDA in 2018 over Andhra Pradesh not getting ‘special category status’.

The TDP in Andhra Pradesh has tried to silently approach the BJP’s high command to return to the NDA. Naidu had met union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda earlier in June, but there has been no development on that front so far. 

“The TDP will have a lot more vote share than the JSP in Telangana since Pawan Kalyan will be contesting the assembly election for the first time here. However, the BJP still does not want to talk to the TDP as it does not fit into its plans,” Satyanarayana Reddy added.

This report was republished from The News Minute as part of The News Minute-Newslaundry alliance. It has been lightly edited for style and clarity. Read about our partnership here and become a TNM Member here.

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