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Same Campaign, Different Motives: How Naidu and Pawan Kalyan Are Using Andhra vs Telangana Sentiment

For chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and opposition party Janasena’s Pawan Kalyan, the attempt has been to encash on the Andhra Pradesh versus Telangana sentiment in the state.

Rishika Sadam | CNN-News18

Updated:April 23, 2019, 7:38 PM IST
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Same Campaign, Different Motives: How Naidu and Pawan Kalyan Are Using Andhra vs Telangana Sentiment
Chandrababu Naidu and Pawan Kalyan.

Hyderabad: With less than a month left for elections in Andhra Pradesh, the political campaign narrative in Andhra Pradesh has revolved around just one issue.

For chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and opposition party Janasena’s Pawan Kalyan, the attempt has been to encash on the Andhra Pradesh versus Telangana sentiment in the state.

Kalyan’s recent comments on Telangana, from where he is contesting for the upcoming assembly elections, sparked a row on social media. He pointed out on how people of Andhra are ‘unsafe’ in Telangana and had also compared the TRS ruled state to ‘Pakistan.’

According to reports, the actor-turned-politician had alleged that the people of Andhra are being beaten up in Telangana.

“Kalyan is expecting empathy. Since some time, he has been against KCR’s regime and he did voice out his opinions. He had been clear that the Telangana movement and TRS are two separate things,” veteran journalist and political analyst Telakapalli Ravi told News18.

A complaint was also lodged at a local police station by activist group-Telangana Joint Action Committee though an FIR is yet to be filed. On the other hand, Naidu has ven described the bifurcation of the state in 2014 as ‘unjust’.

“They called us cheater. They said they would drive us away from their state. How frustrating would it be if someone takes away your properties after 60 years of your hardwork,” Naidu said on Sunday.

However, political analysts in the state say that this move by the leaders was expected. And the intention behind it could be different.

“Unlike Pawan Kalyan, for Naidu, this is helping him to divert the campaign from talking about real issues, a way of political mileage. He had also said that Jagan is a subordinate of KCR, trying to show him in a poor light. The sentiment on the ground is still there in both the states,” Ravi said.

Naidu had also said that voting Jagan to power would mean compromising on state’s interests as the latter is on the same page with Telangana CM KCR. Naidu and Kalyan’s argument gains strength as Reddy has extended support to KCR’s federal front idea. In return, KCR had also said that he would support Reddy for the upcoming elections in Andhra.

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| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee
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