National

Special category status for AP: Pawan Kalyan set to fire first salvo

Ch. R. S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 16, 2018

File photo of Jana Sena founder, Pawan Kalyan, at a public meeting in Tirupati in August. -- K.V. Poornachandra Kumar

Telugu film star and Jana Sena party leader Pawan Kalyan, popularly known as 'power star' by his fans, is getting ready to fire the first salvo over the raging issue of according special category status to Andhra Pradesh at Kakinada in East Godavari district on Friday.

Earlier in August, at a public meeting in Tirupati, he had announced that he would take up a phased programme to exert pressure on the Centre to fulfil its promise on the issue. Pawan Kalyan, who did not contest the elections in 2014, lent his support to the Telugu Desam-BJP alliance in the State and is said to have played a key role in securing the vote of the Kapu caste for the alliance, paving the way for the victory of the TDP-BJP combine in many coastal districts.

At the Tirupati meeting last month, Pawan expressed his disenchantment with the NDA Government for not according the promised SCS to Andhra Pradesh and issued a warning that he would take the path of agitation if the Centre did not respond positively and honour its commitment.

Stating that he held Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the highest esteem, he said that "nevertheless I will not sacrifice the interests of the State." He was severely critical of the Congress party and the BJP and mildly critical of the Telugu Desam Party and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.

The choice of Kakinada for the first meeting is also significant because it was in Kakinada in 1997 that the state unit of the BJP passed a resolution favouring the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, a fact which Pawan Kalyan wants to highlight to show that the BJP is as much responsible for the bifurcation as the Congress. It is significant on another count too. The two Godavari districts - East and West - are the strongholds of the Kapu caste, from which the actor hails.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 06, 2016

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