Telugu film star Pawan Kalyan slams Centre on special status for Andhra


Tirupati: In a no-holds-barred attack on the Centre and the state government, Telugu film star and Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan today said here that he would fight till the Centre granted special category state status to Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile  Pawan Kalyan announced a three-phase agitation.

Addressing a public meeting at Indira Grounds in Tirupati on Saturday, he attacked the then UPA government and the present BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for doing injustice to AP which does not even have a capital. He said that the first public meeting of Jana Sena will be held on September 9 at Kakinada in East Godavari district, where the BJP in 1997 had passed the “One Vote-Two States,” resolution.

“I will tour all the mandal headquarters and explain to the people about the injustice meted out to our state and what I want to do to achieve special status. In the second stage, we will bring pressure on the state government, ruling and Opposition MPs to fight against the Centre. If MPs fail in their fight, I along with the people will come out on the streets and fight for special status. I will continue the fight till I achieve the aim,” he said.

Reminding Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his slogans like Skill India, Make in India and Start-Up India, he asked how AP would develop without special status as the state was facing a Budget deficit and almost all major industries had gone to Telangana state “Before the elections, Mr Modi along with TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu promised to accord special status and other benefits to the state. He said by killing the mother (undivided AP) the child (Telangana) was removed from the womb. Now Mr Modi is cremating the mother,” he said.

He asked Mr Naidu why he wasn’t putting pressure on the Centre to secure SCS. “CM is making excuses saying that if we fight with the Centre we may have to forego all benefits which we will get as per the Re-organisation Act. You (Mr Naidu) have completed more than two years of your five-year term. If you don’t fight now, we may think that you are afraid of the Centre,” Pawan Kalyan said.

Recalling BJP senior leader and Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu's stand in the Rajya Sabha during the bifurcation debate, Pawan Kalyan said that he may not have political experience when compared with Venkaiah Naidu, but “the way he is changing his words on special status is not correct.” He reminded Mr Venkaiah Naidu that he was a Telugu first and appealed to him to fight for special status.

Pawan Kalyan did a satire on Union finance minister Arun Jaitley’s pronouncements in the Rajya Sabha on how many crores were spent on what in AP for the past two years. “Please do not confuse the people with maths. I got desperate after hearing all these mathematical figures. What we are getting is our right, not charity,” he said.

He faulted the TD and BJP MPs of the state for not questioning the Centre in Parliament. He asked Union minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju why he had not resigned for the sake of Telugu pride and people. He questioned the integrity of the minister, who said that the Chief Ministers of three states are hampering the award of special status to AP.

While lashing out at former Congress MPs for their ‘ghulamgiri (slavery),' to their high command, he asked if the people of Seemandhra were “in the pockets of Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. The MPs should demand special status as a right instead of bending their knees and begging,” he said.

The Congress MPs used to plead “Madam,’’ and now BJP and TD MPs are pleading “Sir’’, Pawan Kalyan said. Countering criticism made by various party leaders, and alluding to the remark of YSRC legislator R.K. Roja saying he had become “Rubber Singh” from “Gabbar Singh”, the actor said he was ready to face any allegations.

“TheJana Sena is two years and 9 months old.  I am not interested in politics and in posts. The affection and love showered by people is enough and there is no necessity to indulge in politics,” he said.  

He hailed former union minister Jairam Ramesh, who was elected from AP, for standing up for the state's right and said that he once told his colleagues that Seemandhra MPs were not fighting for their rights whereas Telangana MPs impressed the Congress president with their demand for a separate state.

Pawan Kalyan said that a BJP leader from the high command had invited him to join the party saying that regional parties had no value or importance at the national level. “I told him that the Jana Sena was formed with the aim to protect the interests of Telugu people,’’ he said.

“I will continue in films and I will fight for the people of the state by coming into active politics,” the said. He appealed to his fans to not take films seriously. “The actors themselves have no animosity towards each other,” he said, in reference to an alleged attack on his fan earlier this week. “There is no need for fans to fight over film heroes,” he said.