Clearing the air, Jana Sena Party (JSP) chief Pawan Kalyan on Wednesday said his party would not support any political party in the Nandyal byelection. “We have decided to be neutral in the Nandyal by-election. The JSP will be neutral until 2019 [year of general election],” he said.
In a release , the JSP chief said the party was still in a formative stage. Though it enjoyed popular support, it still had to complete building it at the field level. Also, it was just a by-election. APCC president Raghuveera Reddy also wrote to him seeking support as it had fielded a Muslim candidate. But after the feedback from the cadre in Rayalaseema, it was decided to stay neutral, he said.
“I have nothing to do if there are any claims that the JSP or I am supporting a candidate in the election,” he said.
Mr. Pawan Kalyan’s decision came as a surprise to the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) as he had been supporting it since the 2014 general elections. He campaigned for the TDP-BJP combine.
Though the TDP had been confident of victory, it expected that Mr. Kalyan would chip in. In fact, the by-election had become an open war between the ruling party and the Opposition YSR Congress. After the major debacle in 2014, the Congress also fielded its candidate.
Subsequently, the voters had been keeping an eye out for Mr. Pawan Kalyan’s stance. It had become a topic for discussion in the political circles. The actor did not comment on his party’s stance during his visit to Vijayawada a couple of weeks ago to meet Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Nadiu to discuss the Uddhanam problem.
All the political parties had been vying for his support in the election for the votes of the Kapu, Balija and other communities.