Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan recently announced that his party would contest in 175 Assembly constituencies in the 2019 Andhra Pradesh elections. He also introduced his party's political strategist Vasudev, known as Dev.
The development amused many, as Dev reportedly was once a part of the BJP from Hyderabad’s Chintal Basti.
Several videos of speeches made by Vasudev and his pictures with BJP leaders are being shown in the media.
At the time of the announcement, Vasudev claimed he had over a decade of experience in electioneering and campaigning, had been working with Pawan Kalyan for more than 10 months, and that he can't speak "good Telugu".
However, videos showed Vasudev speaking fluent Telugu at a BJP event. The BJP, however, said that they don't have any association with Vasudev.
The Telugu Desam Party attacked the Jana Sena Party and said that there was a ‘Jagan-Pawan’ plot unfolding.
"JaganPawan’ plot unfolding.. Jagan/Modi-Shah strategist, Prashant Kishore, sends his Sishya, Dev, as political strategist to Pawan,” TDP MP Jayadev Galla tweeted.
‘JaganPawan’ plot unfolding.. Jagan/Modi-Shah strategist, Prashant Kishore, sends his Sishya, Dev, as political strategist to Pawan..— Jay Galla (@JayGalla) May 2, 2018
TDP State Secretary Gottipati Ramakrishna Prasad said that the BJP needed to clarify this.
"The BJP has to clarify. Didn't he (Vasudev) try for an MLA ticket earlier?" he asked.
Refuting this, BJP State General Secretary Shyam Kishore said, "Our party has nothing to do with him. “The TDP is paranoid about every other person who criticises or works against them, and brands as BJP men.”
When asked about Vasudev’s presence in BJP events, Kishore said, "He might have worked with some political consultancy which worked with BJP earlier. Many such people come to meetings and speak. We can't consider them as BJP.”
"To the best of my knowledge, we haven't seen or met him anywhere in our party meetings," he added.
Responding to Jayadev Galla’s allegation, the Indian Political Action Committee (founded by Prashant Kishor), the election strategist for the YSR Congress Party and the BJP in 2014, I-PAC ruled out any association with Vasudev.
Speaking to TNM, a senior representative of I-PAC said, "Our organisation doesn't have any relationship with a person of that name, and neither had such an association in any of the places we worked.