In a major announcement, actor-politician Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena Party (JSP) has decided to ally with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Andhra Pradesh, to "protect the interests of the state and its people."
The announcement came after a 'crucial meeting' in Vijayawada on Thursday, 16 January, in the wake of the prevailing unrest in Andhra Pradesh's Amaravati region, over the YSRCP government's proposal for three capitals.
Speaking to reporters, Pawan Kalyan said, "BJP and JSP will work together to come to power in 2024 in Andhra Pradesh. We will work for the people of the state together."
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, Kalyan said, "Back when Modi was the PM candidate, I met him in Gandhinagar and shared my thoughts. Andhra Pradesh needs BJP. After becoming a new state, strong leaders who are corruption-free and have a vision, are at the Centre, which is favourable for the development of the state."
“We will work for corruption-free governance and we will take on the caste-ridden and dynastic politics of the state.”Pawan Kalyan, JSP Chief
While Pawan Kalyan and JSP Political Affairs Committee chairman Nadendla Manohar represented their party, state president Kanna Lakshminarayana, Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao and party state in charge Sunil Deodhar represented the BJP at Thursday's meeting.
"In the interest of the future of the state and country, Pawan Kalyan has come forward to work together under the leadership of Modi. The BJP welcomes him," Kanna Lakshminarayana said.
The BJP also made it clear that there was no understanding or alliance with the TDP or the YSRCP, and it had an 'ideological' alliance with the JSP alone.
The meeting was a follow-up to the interaction between BJP national working president JP Nadda and Pawan Kalyan in New Delhi earlier this week.
Jana Sena, which was formed in March 2014, supported the BJP-TDP combine in the general elections that year but subsequently fell out with the two parties. Eventually, the TDP too parted ways with the BJP and they fought the 2019 polls separately and lost comprehensively.
Though JSP or BJP have not made a dent in Andhra politics, their combined force is likely to have a bearing on the coming elections to rural and urban local bodies.
(This article was originally published on The News Minute.)