Andhra special status: All eyes on Pawan Kalyan ahead of his public meeting in Kakinada
More important question is why has Pawan Kalyan, once considered close to Modi, turned a bitter critic. The TDP believes it is because Modi adopted a policy of use-and-throw and did not consult the actor even once on anything regarding Andhra. The TDP believes this is Pawan’s twist in the script just before the intermission, the half-way mark before the 2019 election.
But the BJP suspects the script and direction is by Chandrababu Naidu, which is why the Andhra CM was not criticised by Pawan in Tirupati. The timing of the Kakinada meeting, it points out, is suspect as it comes just two days before Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham’s meeting in Rajahmundry, also in East Godavari district. Padmanabham has been leading an agitation asking for reservation for the Kapus. With Pawan also belonging to the same community, the gameplan, many would think, is to pit Kapu vs Kapu.
Padmanabham’s agitation riding on Kapu unrest in January 2016 had turned violent, with a train set on fire in Tuni in East Godavari district. Kapus constitute 27 percent of Andhra’s population and that vote coming into the TDP’s kitty in 2014, mostly thanks to Pawan, was one reason why Naidu returned as chief minister. TDP insiders term Padmanabham’s reservation demands as “impossible to meet”.
Pawan’s supporters say he is not talking for a community but the entire state. The TDP dismisses Pawan as a non-factor and say if he was serious about a political innings, he would have organised village, district and town committees to build a political structure.