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King, Kingmaker or Nobody in Andhra Kingdom: In 2-Way Battle, Pawan Kalyan is the Joker in the Pack

The crowd at Pawan Kalyan's campaigns is something to watch out for, especially considering that he is new in politics.

H Venkatesh | News18

Updated:April 23, 2019, 7:17 PM IST
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King, Kingmaker or Nobody in Andhra Kingdom: In 2-Way Battle, Pawan Kalyan is the Joker in the Pack
A grab from Pawan Kalyan's movie
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Hyderabad: Actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan is set to make his political debut in the upcoming general elections and has been a cynosure of sorts for his fiery and emotional speeches in Andhra Pradesh, which will vote on April 11.

Kalyan had abstained from taking the political plunge in 2014 after floating his Jana Sena Party (JSP), which has a popular symbol — tumbler or chai glass.

Nonetheless, his campaigns have been attracting sizable crowds, which is remarkable considering he is new to politics. With the presence of a large number of youth, it won't be wrong to speculate that these crowds may turn into votes.

Kalyan plans to have his say in forming the government by winning 40 seats. However, political analysts are curious to see how Kalyan will use his 'kingmaker card' — whether he will use it to bargain for Lok Sabha seats or if he will gun for the chief minister's post in the state during Assembly elections later this year.

The battle is tough but interesting, especially as Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and CM N Chandrababu Naidu and opposition leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy are already eyeing the top post. Many feel it will be tough for the JSP to touch even double-digit figures, and there is no question of reaching the top post since the loyalties of most of the dominating communities lie with either TDP and the YCP.

There have been allegations that Kalyan's party is a B-team of the TDP as the party founder is seen attacking the BJP and the YCP but has not spoken much about Naidu's party. Kalyan also supported the TDP during the 2014 polls when he did not contest.

This year, he has tied up with the Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati, who has already declared him a chief ministerial face.

Kalyan's elder brother, Chiranjeevi, had merged his Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress after winning only 19 seats during the last elections. If a similar situation arises in 2019 due to caste votebank of the TDP and the YCP, it will be interesting to see if Kalyan decides to follow in his brother's footsteps or carve out a different path.
| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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