Actor-politician and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan on Wednesday advocated for a second national capital in south India and said that the time had come for southern parties to speak in one voice.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai, Pawan Kalyan said that he wanted the southern states to play a decisive role within the system, adding, â€śIt is high time the political parties in the south stood up together and end the hegemony enjoyed by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in national politics.â€ť
â€śThe architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr B R Ambedkar, emphasised the need for a second national capital in the south, but this has remained an unfulfilled dream so far,â€ť Pawan said, adding that the Jana Sena party would take the demand forward.
Pawan also told reporters that regional parties would play a crucial role in the 2019 elections.
â€śFor the past ten years, people from Andhra in Hyderabad were treated as second class citizens by Telangana leaders. Andhra people were hurt and angry with such treatment. However, I never had such a feeling of being alienated during my stay in Tamil Nadu,â€ť Pawan said.
Speaking about politics in his home state of Andhra Pradesh, Pawan said, â€śThe time has come for Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to take retirement. Much to the dismay of the people in the state, his son, Nara Lokesh, who can never win even as a Gram Panchayat ward member, was elevated as the Panchayati Raj Minister. There is a more time for the general elections and I will spell out the stand of Jana Sena very soon.â€ť
This is not the first time that Pawan has spoken on the issue of the north-south divide.
In February this year, Pawan Kalyan questioned the population-based formula for sharing tax revenues between states and asked if the Centre was going to use the 'success of south Indian states' against their own interests.
In January last year, Pawan had told a news channel that â€śThe north-south divide is not between people but political class. Same rule has to be applied all over.â€ť
â€śWhat we all in southern India feel that there is a political elite class of Delhi who want to run the entire country, having majority in Uttar Pradesh. People are rebelling against that thought,â€ť he added.
He had also said that disrespect to 'sub-national identity' in a country like India, would create a fertile breeding grounds for separatist movements.