Andhra Pradesh

Destination Tirupati for Pawan too?

Pawan Kalyan.

Pawan Kalyan.  

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Chiru won in 2009; JSP circles abuzz and YSRCP camp wary

Is Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan eyeing the Tirupati Assembly constituency to be the springboard towards becoming a legislator? The answer appears to be ‘yes’ going by indications from party circles and strong feelers from the rival camps .

The actor-turned-politician is said to be keen on tracing the path of his elder brother K. Chiranjeevi, who not only launched his Praja Rajyam Party at the foothills of Tirupati, but also contested from here in 2009 and won the seat.

Party leader and former MLA Chadalawada Krishnamurthy told The Hindu that the district unit had requested him to enter the fray. “ We will go all out to ensure Mr. Pawan Kalyan’s victory if he contests from here,” he added.

The major factor that Mr. Pawan banks on is huge Balija voter base in the temple town. The community stood with Mr. Chiranjeevi too, which helped him overcome the ‘non-local’ brand tagged by his nearest rival Bhumana Karunakar Reddy, then the Congress candidate . Interestingly, Mr. Karunakar Reddy will most probably be the YSR Congress Party candidate this time too. The second is the ecosystem of students and youth created by the universities and higher education institutions present here, who, the party feels, can engage better with Mr. Pawan.

Warning to Bhumana

Reliable sources in the party say that applications from local aspirants have not been accepted, fuelling speculation that Mr. Pawan is indeed interested in the constituency. TTD trust board ex-member Pasupuleti Hariprasad, though a serious contender, has reportedly been asked ‘to wait.’ Pawan Kalyan Fans Association (Rayalaseema) president Kiran Rayal is a potential candidate, but has not secured the nod yet.

The picture is clear if one were to go by strong feelers from either side of the political spectrum. Mr. Pawan, during his public meeting in Chittoor last week, had openly warned Mr. Karunakar Reddy that he would not be cowed down by bullies, setting the stage for a Tirupati-centric fight. Mr. Reddy also had mentioned during his campaign that the Tirupati voters should choose between an actor and a leader.

Their comments, evidently in the same context, have created a buzz.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 4:49:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/destination-tirupati-for-pawan-too/article26518427.ece

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