Fissures seem to be emerging in the TDP-Jana Sena alliance ahead of the Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh. Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan found fault with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) unilaterally announcing their candidate for the Mandapeta seat even before a seat-sharing agreement, and remarked that the TDP violated their alliance.
Addressing the Republic Day function at the Jana Sena office in Mangalagiri on January 26, Pawan Kalyan declared that Jana Sena will contest the Razole and Rajanagaram seats. The announcement came soon after TDP unilaterally announced candidates for Mandapeta and Araku seats. He stated that the announcement of candidates by the TDP has caused concern to the Jana Sena leaders and said he was apologising to them.
“Yesterday, some leaders from Mandapeta constituency met me. They were upset that Naidu announced the Mandapeta candidate without abiding by the alliance. I agreed with them and said this shouldn’t have happened. Naidu is a three-time CM with four decades of political experience. He must have had special circumstances compelling him to speak hastily. We need to understand that,” Pawan Kalyan said.
He also said that he maintained silence when TDP general secretary and Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh claimed that his father would be the Chief Minister again. “In the interest of the state, with a big heart, I didn’t respond. Some people ask me why I continue to respect the alliance when they don’t. It’s easy to speak in a way that disturbs the alliance, maintaining it is difficult,” Pawan Kalyan said.
Pawan Kalyan said like Chandrababu Naidu, he was also under pressure from his party cadres. “I know how many seats we should contest,” he said. He also asserted that the Jana Sena-TDP alliance will not end with the Assembly elections but will continue beyond that.
The Jana Sena leader said his party can win seats by going alone but may not be able to form the government. He reiterated that the Jana Sena-TDP alliance will offer a bright future to the people of Andhra Pradesh.
Elections to the 175-member Assembly are slated to be held along with Lok Sabha polls in April-May. Razole was the only Assembly seat won by Jana Sena in the 2019 elections. However, its MLA R Vara Prasada Rao later turned rebel and supported the YSRCP.
It was in September last year that Pawan Kalyan after meeting Chandrababu Naidu at the Rajahmundry Central Jail announced that Jana Sena would have an electoral alliance with the TDP for the forthcoming elections to throw YSR Congress Party out of power.
Since then, leaders of the two parties had a couple of meetings and agreed to draft a joint manifesto. However, they are yet to announce their decision on seat-sharing.
With IANS inputs