Indian Express

Pawan Kalyan, Modi discuss tie-up

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Telugu actor K Pawan Kalyan, who launched the Jana Sena Party on March 14, on Friday met BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad. In a rare display of affection, Modi hugged the 42-year-old actor, who went to seek support and explore possibility of an alliance in rest of Andhra Pradesh.

Brother of Congress leader and Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi, Pawan Kalyan is looking at the possibility of a BJP-TDP-Jana Sena tie-up which could deal a big blow to the Congress in Seemandhra where the party faces complete rout over the state’s bifurcation.

“I and my party won’t be contesting elections. We will support some non-Congress candidates. We intend to fight against the Congress. Congress hatao, desh bachao,” said Pawan Kalyan.

Given the fluctuating political fortunes in Seemandhra, a BJP-TDP-Jana Sena tie-up could alter the political equations as the Jana Sena may swing or break votes in several coastal constituencies, upsetting the calculations of leading contender YSR Congress Party.

Meanwhile, Chiranjeevi on Friday gingerly tested the waters in Srikakulam district of Seemandhra where anti-Congress sentiments run high over division of state.

Chirajeevi, accompanied by Seemandhra PCC chief Raghuveera Reddy and several former ministers, started a ‘mass-contact’ programme. Wary of embarrassing protests, dissention and criticism in public, Chirajeevi, who was appointed chairman of campaign committee, decided to call it a ‘mass-contact’ programme. “We will talk to people, tell them why the division of state became necessary and why each region will benefit from the division. Our first priority is to boost the morale of party cadre,” he said.

The Congress first plans to tour Seemandhra and hold public meetings to explain the circumstances and compulsions for bifurcation, before launching a full-fledged campaign so that its candidates do not face angry crowds.

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