The YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh has rejected any political threat by the coming together of former allies BJP and the Jana Sena Party (JSP) ahead of local body elections in the state.
Dismissing Pawan as a “nonentity”, YSRCP MLA Amabati Rambabu said the JSP chief is known for “political instability” and that the actor is not “eligible for politics”. “Pawan had previously worked with BJP, TDP and left parties in various stages and walked away from those parties which are examples for his political instability,” he said. The ruling party also hit back at Kalyan for criticising the YSRCP’s seven months in power.
“How can you decide a government’s failure and success in seven months?” he said, adding that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is working against corruption in the state and the government has also introduced several welfare schemes.
The BJP and JSP announced an alliance Thursday as the “third alternative” in Andhra Pradesh, after a four-hour-long meeting of leaders of the two parties in Vijayawada. JSP chief and actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan described it as a “historic and important development,” and exuded confidence that the alliance will wrest power from the current Jagan Reddy-led YSRC government in the next Assembly elections in 2024.
“The BJP and the Jana Sena will be the third alternative that people are looking for. We will emerge as a formidable force by 2024,” Kalyan noted. “We have over four years time to strength ourselves in the state and we will certainly clinch power in 2024,” he asserted.
Rambabu accused Pawan and TDP chief and former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu of “trying to irk the government”. “It is your (Pawan) wish to partner with any party. We are not afraid of any party. We have come into power alone and moving ahead by fulfilling our promises,” he said.
The coming together of the BJP and JSP may alter the political landscape in the state. The BJP, which has failed to grow as a formidable force in the southern states except in Karnataka, sees an opportunity to connect with help from regional parties. The party reunites with JSP after three years, blaming “communication gap” for their separation.
“Our alliance is intended to protect the state,” the parties said. The state BJP has said the Sena agreed to ally with the party “unconditionally” in the interest of Andhra Pradesh and its people.
The ruling YSRCP has, meanwhile, questioned Pawan’s loyalty with the BJP, asking why he joined hands with the party if he claimed to have fought for special status for Andhra Pradesh.
As soon as the Sena was founded in March 2014, Kalyan supported the BJP-TDP combine in the elections in AP and Telangana. The Sena, however, remained out of contest in the two states. Two years down the line, it fell out with the BJP and the TDP and allied with BSP and the Left parties for the 2019 elections. It managed to win just one seat in the 175-member Assembly.
(With inputs from PTI)
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