Friends in 2014, foes now for 2019

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It is quite interesting to note that Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan had pledged that his party would not allow Telugu Desam Party supremo and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu from coming to power in the next elections. Because in 2014, had had taken a similar pledge to bring Babu back to power, along with Narendra Modi at the Centre. The three leaders were friends in the last election, but they are rivals now for this election.

Nearly four years after the last general elections, Chandrababu Naidu realised that Modi will not do justice to Andhra Pradesh. Modi believes that Chandrababu Naidu is not a trusted leader anymore. At the same time, Pawan Kalyan realised that Chandrababu Naidu will not do justice to Andhra Pradesh.

The three leaders, who campaigned together in 2014, praising each other and standing for each other, are now three separated poles. There are no stakes for Narendra Modi or his party in Andhra Pradesh. Given the situation, the BJP may not get even a single Lok Sabha seat to help Modi retain his strength in Lok Sabha after the elections. But, the Modi-followers in the State are strong enough to defeat the rivals. They have voted for Chandrababu Naidu in the last election, which had given him that small 2.06 per cent margin over the rival YSR Congress.

Pawan Kalyan did not have his candidates and he only sought the votes for Chandrababu Naidu and Narendra Modi. This time, after parting ways with Chandrababu Naidu and Narendra Modi, he wants to contest on his own, may align with the Left parties. Kapu vote share, which stands close to 15 per cent in the State, is not consolidated around Pawan Kalyan. The Kapus are divided, some backing Chandrababu Naidu and some opposing him. But, there is not much support from this caste to Pawan Kalyan, as he refused to own this caste.

When Pawan Kalyan was part of his brother Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party in 2009 elections, the party with Mega Star and Power Star fighting together, secured just 18 MLA seats and now without Mega Star on his side, it is anybody’s guess to make an assessment on Pawan Kalyan’s prospects. However, he too can play spoilsport for the TDP by taking away that small margin of 2.06 per cent votes.

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