In a significant development for politics in the two Telugu states, the Jana Sena Party (JSP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Friday announced an alliance for the upcoming elections. Actor-politician and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan met BSP chief Mayawati in Lucknow and the duo announced that the alliance has also finalised seat sharing for both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh elections. Pawan Kalyan had met BSP leaders four months ago, before the Telangana state elections took place, and there were reports that they were trying to forge an alliance.
The JSP is already in an alliance with the CPI and CPI(M) in Andhra Pradesh.
For the Telangana Assembly polls in December last year, the BSP had contested independently in all the 175 constituencies while the JSP had abstained from contesting.
Addressing the media, Pawan Kalyan said that he wishes to see Mayawati as the Prime Minister. “We would like to see Behen ji Mayawati ji as the Prime Minister of our country, this is our wish and our ardent desire,” ANI quoted Pawan Kalyan as saying.
On Wednesday, the JSP released its first list of candidates with 4 MP and 32 MLA nominees for Andhra Pradesh. Those who got Assembly tickets include Nadendla Manohar, former Speaker of united Andhra, and Ravela Kishore Babu, a Dalit minister who quit the TDP alleging caste discrimination.
The JSP-BSP-Left alliance said it will contest all 175 Assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra.
According to reports, Pawan Kalyan is likely to contest from Gajuwaka constituency in Visakhapatnam.
In 2014, Pawan Kalyan had supported the TDP-BJP alliance and campaigned for them. However, after the BJP-led Centre denied according Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh and instead offered the state a Special Package, he withdrew his support.
Meanwhile, calling the JSP-BSP alliance opportunistic, Nizamabad caretaker MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha said, “The alliance seems like it was formed at the last minute aimed at the elections. I haven’t seen Pawan Kalyan talk about any Dalit issues. I think it is a political stunt.” She also insinuated that Pawan Kalyan has a discreet understanding with TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu.