Home NEWS Pawan Kalyan declares TDP, JSP alliance against Jagan in 2024 polls: ‘Andhra...

Pawan Kalyan declares TDP, JSP alliance against Jagan in 2024 polls: ‘Andhra can’t afford YSRCP’ | Political Pulse News

With barely seven months to go for the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, the actor-turned-politician and Jana Sena Party (JSP) chief, K Pawan Kalyan, said Thursday that his party will forge an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to take on the ruling Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in the polls.

After meeting TDP president and ex-chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the Rajahmundry Central Jail, Kalyan told reporters that he hoped the BJP would also join their alliance against the YSRCP.

Naidu has been in jail after being arrested by the state police over his alleged involvement in a “scam”, which the TDP has called “political vendetta” allegedly unleashed by Chief Minister Jagan.

Andhra Pradesh politics has heated up in the wake of Naidu’s arrest in the run-up to the synchronised state Assembly polls and the Lok Sabha elections slated for April-May 2024.

“I have decided today that JSP and TDP will be together and we will contest (in the 2024 elections) together. We cannot fight YSRCP alone. I wanted the BJP to join me in this battle against the YSRCP. I am still hoping that BJP will join us. BJP has not taken a decision but I am still very hopeful,” Kalyan said.

He was accompanied by TDP general secretary N Lokesh Naidu, son of Chandrababu Naiduand actor N Balakrishna, TDP MLA from Hindupur. “Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy created this opportunity for me to meet Lokesh Naidu and Balakrishna. Andhra Pradesh cannot afford to have YSRCP as the ruling party. TDP and JSP will fight against it together,’’ Kalyan said.

Kalyan along with the TDP leaders met Naidu in the jail for several minutes.

Naidu was arrested by the state CID from Nandyal early last Saturday in connection with the alleged multi-crore AP State Skill Development Corporation scam involving his government’s tenure during 2014-19. An Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court in Vijayawada sent Naidu to 14-day judicial custody on Sunday evening. He was shifted to Rajahmundry Central Jail, 200 km from Vijayawadaafter the court order.

On Wednesday, the Andhra Pradesh High Court posted the hearing to September 19 on Naidu’s petition seeking quashing of the FIR filed against him in this alleged scam. The high court directed the CID to file its response in the matter.

The high court also posted the hearing to September 18 on the CID’s petition for Naidu’s custody, and on Naidu’s plea seeking anticipatory bail in another case against him related to alleged irregularities in the Amaravati inner ring road construction case.

Kalyan, whose party is already an ally of the BJP-led NDA, has been pitching for the Opposition’s “grand alliance” against the Jagan dispensation for several months, urging the saffron party to join the TDP-JSP combine in this regard.

The TDP had walked out of the NDA in 2018 ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on a bitter note with the then CM Naidu accusing the BJP-ruled Centre of neglecting Andhra Pradesh and not granting it a special category status.

Kalyan believes that the grand alliance comprising the TDP, JSP and BJP would have an edge against the formidable YSRCP. The BJPwhich was initially averse to tying up with the TDP, seemed to have warmed up to Kalyan’s proposal but has still remained non-committal on it.

The JSP chief again pushed for the proposal on July 18 when he was invited to the NDA meeting in New Delhi. He met senior BJP leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and others, and urged them to also take the TDP on board for the 2024 polls.

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The JSP’s Political Affairs Committee chairman Nadendla Manohar said his party’s stand is that the Opposition’s votes should not get split if they want to dislodge the YSRCP from power. “Pawan Kalyan has been conveying to the BJP leadership that our objective is to ensure that the anti-incumbency vote should not split in Andhra Pradesh and for that purpose there should be an alliance of JSP-TDP-BJP,” he said.

In the 2019 elections to the 175-member Assembly, the YSRCP swept the polls bagging 151 seats. The TDP won 23 seats with a vote share of 39% while the JSP got just 1 seat with 5.54 per cent votes.

The BJPwhich appointed Daggubati Purandeswari as its state unit chief in July, has so far not reacted to Kalyan’s Thursday announcement.

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