Pawan Kalyan Struggles to Rally Support

Visakhapatnam: Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan, despite his big fan following, is facing difficulty in convincing the young voters to back the three-party alliance in the present elections.

The youngsters who hail Pawan Kalyan and the huge base of JS cadres are unable to digest the allotment of a meagre 21 Assembly seats and two LS seats for the Jana Sena to contest the polls this time under the TD-led alliance format.

In fact, Pawan Kalyan is facing an uphill task to win the public support after the announcement of the TD-JS alliance on September 14 last. Despite his statements in a recent meeting that the alliance was formed to defeat the YSRC, this obviously failed to inspire his supporters.

Pawan Kalyan, an actor-turned politician since 2008, initially aligned with his brother's party, the Praja Rajyam. He established the Jana Sena in 2014, focusing on seven core ideals known as 'Jana Sena Sidhanthalu.'

Despite his ambition to become CM and calls for public support, his statements about the alliance's purpose to defeat Jagan Mohan Reddy have raised doubts about his real intent.

A devoted fan hailing from Visakhapatnam, who prefers to remain anonymous, expressed his unwavering support for Pawan Kalyan but also expressed his disappointment over the way things shaped up now. He recounted Pawan Kalyan’s journey from being a supporter since the actor's early days in cinema to embracing his political ideologies. “Despite setbacks in Pawan Kalyan's political career, including unsuccessful bids for office, I supported him.”

He expressed his disappointment, stating, "Why should we vote for him just to empower Chandrababu Naidu? What if Naidu marginalises him once in power?"

In the realm of party loyalty, two cases illustrate the complexities faced by grassroots supporters like Sattibabu from Palakunda. He left his tea business to work for Pawan Kalyan's JS. Pawan Kalyan, acknowledging Sattibabu's sacrifice, publicly praised him during a rally. Sattibabu remained a staunch supporter, often opposing both the TD and YSRC. However, when the party awarded the Palakunda seat to Nimmaka Jaya Krishna from the TD, Sattibabu decided to step back and refocus on his business.

Similar tensions arose in Visakhapatnam, where Peethala Murty Yadav was a prominent voice for Jana Sena. His activism won praise. Yet, someone else, Vamsi Krishna Yadav, who was formerly with the YSRC, joined Jana Sena and entered the fray in place of Murthy Yadav, causing a rift among their supporters.

Some followers, when questioned by Deccan Chronicle during Vamsi Krishna Yadav's campaign, emphasised their support for “Pawan Kalyan alone,” indicating their dispproval of the candidate.

This sentiment was echoed among other sections of the populace.

In the 2019 elections, Pawan Kalyan faced setbacks in the Assembly polls in Gajuwaka and Bheemavaram. Despite expressing his intention to contest in Gajuwaka, the seat went to a TD member, and hence some supporters withdrew their backing to the JS.

Though Pawan Kalyan received significant support in Bheemavaram, he opted to move on and is contesting from Pithapuram.

Peethala Murthy Yadav, in a conversation with Deccan Chronicle, expressed his respect for the party's decision and pledged his support to the alliance candidate. He emphasised the importance of understanding and respecting the decisions made by the leadership rather than resorting to criticism.

But, many Pawan Kalyan supporters say they are "totally confused" as to what stand they should take in the present polls.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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