On Tuesday morning, Pawan Kalyan tweeted that the general body of the Jana Sena will decide the two constituencies he will contest from. Three hours later, the decision was out : Bhimavaram in West Godavari district and Gajuwaka in Visakhapatnam district.
The Jana Sena revealed that eight constituencies were shortlisted where Pawan could contest from. These also included Ichapuram, Tirupati, Anantapur, Pendurthi, Pithapuram and Rajanagaram. The general body chose Gajuwaka and Bhimavaram after deliberations and a close look at the ground situation.
Though Pawan had earlier said that he will contest from a constituency in Rayalaseema’s Anantapur district, the party has decided to focus on its core strength areas. The actor-turned-politician had travelled extensively in the region between Srikakulam and West Godavari districts, making it quite obvious that this will be the Jana Sena’s vote catchment area. The hope is that Pawan’s presence in two constituencies will generate enough enthusiasm among the Kapu community to which the actor belongs and the youth in the age group of 18-30 years, to vote for the Jana Sena.
“Both seats have a significant presence of his family relations as well as members of his Kapu community. Even though Pawan Kalyan says he does not belong to any caste, obviously his party leaders must have thought that is the constituency to tap into,” points out Prof KS Chalam, social scientist.
Bhimavaram apart from Kapu presence, has a significant Raju community (Kshatriya) presence. But more importantly, it is familiar territory for Pawan also because he had lent support to the agitation by locals against the Godavari Mega Aqua Food park set up by the Bhimavaram-based Ananda group, a leading shrimp processor and exporter. The residents say that the Rs 125 crore project would pollute close to 20 villages, contaminating groundwater and adversely affecting agriculture.
Contesting from Gajuwaka, the argument is, will help the Jana Sena create a positive impression among the urban voters in Vizag city. It will help its prospects in Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency as well where its candidate is the former CBI officer VV Laxminarayana.
The decision to contest from two seats will remind many of his elder brother Chiranjeevi’s move in 2009 to contest from both Tirupati in Chittoor district and Palakollu in West Godavari district. While the Megastar won from Tirupati, he lost from Palakollu despite hailing from the district. As Pawan Kalyan campaigns in Bhimavaram, which is a mere 23 km west of Palakollu, he would be well advised to take lessons from Chiranjeevi’s experience.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh