The Jana Sena party of popular Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan on Friday decided to pull out of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections and extend support to its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Pawan Kalyan announced this after Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy and BJP’s OBC Morcha President K. Laxman held talks with him and Jana Sena leader Nadendla Manohar.
The actor said though it would be disappointing for his party cadre in Greater Hyderabad, this was done in the larger interest to avoid split of BJP votes.
The Jana Sena chief said there was a need to ensure development of Hyderabad “under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”. “BJP should win the election to have a strong system in place for rapid development of Hyderabad,” he said.
Pawan Kalyan said an alliance with the BJP could not be worked out for GHMC polls due to the situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic and recent floods. He assured the BJP that the Jana Sena would also extend support to the party in the next Assembly elections in Telangana.
The actor-politician had announced on Tuesday that Jana Sena would field candidates in the GHMC polls. Party’s Telangana leaders had talked of fielding about 60 candidates.
There were also reports that BJP leaders would hold talks with Pawan Kalyan for seat adjustment. However, BJP’s Telangana unit chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Thursday denied the reports and ruled out any alliance with Jana Sena.
A day after his statement, BJP leaders called on Pawan Kalyan to request him not to contest the civic polls and extend support to the BJP.
“People in Telangana want change and only BJP can provide the change. Mr Pawan Kalyan has shown large heartedness. We will work together in future in Telangana,” said Laxman.
Kishan Reddy, who is a member of Parliament from Secunderabad, exuded confidence that people looking for a change will support the BJP. He thanked Pawan Kalyan for agreeing to campaign for BJP.
The elections to 150-member GHMC are scheduled on December 1. Friday was the last day for filing of nominations.
Pawan Kalyan had revived his alliance with the BJP early this year. The Jana Sena had contested 2019 elections in Andhra Pradesh in alliance with the Left parties and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) but won a single seat in 175-member Assembly.
The actor had campaigned for the BJP-TDP alliance in 2014 elections in Andhra Pradesh but later severed ties with BJP for going back on a promise to accord special category state to Andhra Pradesh.