Pawan Kalyan keeps everybody guessing

Hyderabad, Feb 18: While TDP continued its pressure on BJP to fulfill the commitments made to Andhra Pradesh in Reorganisation Act, suspense continues on the role actor politician Pawan Kalyan will play in the days to come.

Jana Sena chief appears to be treading cautiously, not giving a hint about who will be his main rival and whom he will sail with in 2019 elections.

As someone who claims that he has friends in all parties, it is proving a tough job for political pundits to read Pawan Kalyan’s mind.

With TDP leader and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu publicly warning BJP that if it failed to do justice to Andhra Pradesh, the state could return to chaos that prevailed just before bifurcation, all eyes are focused on Pawan.

Addressing a public meeting at Narsaraopet, Naidu asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfill the promises made failing which the state may plunge into unrest.

Interestingly, Naidu’s warning, the first in public came a day after a similar statement by Jana Sena founder.

“It is the duty of the government to fulfil the assurances made in the Parliament. The government’s failure to fulfill its assurances has the potential to fuel separatist movements among the people,” he said.

The actor hogged the limelight this week by forming a Joint Fact-finding Committee (JFC) to study the promises made to the successor State of AP and the status of their implementation.

The committee was formed at a meeting or intellectuals, retired officials and political party representatives convened by him.  Lok Satta founder Jayaprakash Narayan, CPI (M) leader P. Madhu, CPI representative K. Ramakrishna and Congress representative Gidugu Rudraraju were among those who attended the meeting.

The JFC comprises former union secretary M. Padmanabhaiah, former state chief secretary IYR Krishna Rao and another retired bureaucrat T. Chandrasekhar.

The panel will study the implementation of the promises made to the State and present a report. It met for the second consecutive day on Saturday. It would look into aspects like fiscal deficit, status of backward regions, tax concessions, institutions, basic infrastructure, special category status/special package, funds for the construction of the capital and exclusive railway zone for AP post bifurcation.

Lending a helping hand to Pawan, the state government nominated two senior officials to assist the FAC in its task. The officials provided all necessary details to the committee.

The actor’s role was so far confined to addressing few public meetings or meeting farmers, victims of land acquisition, people suffering from kidney ailments in Srikakulam district.

For the first time, he got down to some serious work by involving leaders and eminent people from various walks of life.

At a time when BJP’s state leaders are claiming that the Centre had provided whatever assistance the state required and TDP denying those claims, Pawan has undertaken an exercise which may carry credibility with the people.

Apparently, it looks like Pawan is helping TDP to strengthen its case and targeting BJP for not fulfilling many commitments. However, Jana Sena chief also trained guns on TDP for failing to get the special status for the state. He said the MPs have failed the state.

Last year, Pawan had dropped clear hints that he is ready to work with anyone fighting to achieve special category status.

The injustice meted out the state in Union Budget 2018-19 and the issue taken up strongly by BJP’s ally TDP both in the Parliament and outside came as an opportunity to the actor to provide a perfect launching pad.

Pawan, who had campaigned for BJP-TDP alliance in 2014 elections, has last year slammed the Centre for going back on its promise of special category status and also targeted TDP for its failure to achieve the status.

The state’s politics is also expected to witness some interesting developments in the coming days. While TDP wants to keep maintaining pressure on BJP government, YSR Congress Party has gone a step further by announcing that its MPs will quit if the state was not granted special status by April 5.

It will be interesting to see how Pawan reacts to these developments. After making the report of JFC public, he is expected to announce his next course of action.

For now, Pawan is keeping everybody guessing.

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