Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan resurfaces, begins revitalizing party

Actor-turned-politician and Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan who went off the radar after a severe drubbing in the assembly and general elections in Andhra Pradesh last April, has decided to get back into action in politics and films, according to people familiar with the developments.

While Pawan has announced a series of programmes from the first week of November to rejuvenate the party cadre, he is also toying with the idea of returning to Telugu film industry by acting in films selectively to sustain his popularity among his followers.

“At present, Pawan is working on a script for a film to be directed by popular director Jagarlamudi Radha Krishna alias Krish, who co-directed Bollywood film Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. It is said to be a message-oriented film, but the finer details are yet to be worked out,” a writer from the Telugu film industry said.

Apparently, Pawan feels that he needs to keep up his glamour among millions of his fans that would help him expand his support base in politics. “His brother Chiranjeevi has regained his fan base by returning to films and delivering big hits like his latest film Sye Raa, based on a freedom fighter. Pawan, too, is likely to do a couple of such big films to safeguard his image politically,” the writer said.

The Jana Sena won only one seat in the elections to the 175-member Andhra Pradesh assembly where it contested 138 seats and drew a blank in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year. The huge debacle came as a rude shock to Pawan.

The actor himself lost in two assembly seats he had contested – Bhimavaram in West Godavari and Gajuwaka in Visakhapatnam. The Jana Sena registered a meagre vote share of 6.78 per cent in the state.

While Pawan went into a virtual oblivion for three months, some of his party leaders like former MLAs Akula Satyanarayana and Pasupuleti Balaraju defected to the YSR Congress party and some others like former minister Ravela Kishore Babu joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

After withdrawing into a shell following the hammering at the polls, he seems to have realized that the party might disintegrate if he does not get back into active politics. Pawan Kalyan recently restructured his party organization by constituting a political affairs committee, a politburo and other committees to infuse life into the party.

“We are designing the party programmes to groom the young leadership. There will be continuous action plans at the grassroots level on various issues concerning the common people,” Jana Sena political affairs committee chairman Nadendla Manohar said.

As part of that, he announced a ‘long march’ in Visakhapatnam from November 3 in support of construction workers who lost their livelihood because of collapse of construction sector across the state due to non-availability of sand.

Pawan is planning to make a whirlwind tour of the state to highlight the ‘failure’ of the YSRC government in various fronts.

“Issues like sand scarcity, actions with political vendetta, removal of contract and outsourcing employees, failure to do away with contributory pension scheme, backward steps in the implementation of election promises and lopsided liquor policy,” Manohar said.

The ruling YSR Congress party was quick to criticize Pawan for targeting the Jagan Mohan Reddy government.

“Pawan is speaking in the language of the Telugu Desam Party on the sand crisis in the state, which is mainly due to continuous rains and heavy floods which made sand mining difficult. Pawan should know the facts before making comments,” said senior YSR Congress party leader and minister for panchayat raj Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy.

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