By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad: The elections in Andhra Pradesh will witness an interesting clash between two popular brothers of Telugu cinema.
K. Chiranjeevi, who is leading the poll campaign of the Congress party in Seemandhra or residuary Andhra Pradesh, will come face to face with his younger brother Pawan Kalyan, who floated a new political party Friday with a call to bury the Congress in both Seemandhra and Telangana.
If Chiranjeevi had formed Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) eight months before 2009 elections, his brother has floated Jana Sena less than two months before simultaneous polls to the assembly and the Lok Sabha.
Andhra Pradesh will be formally split into two states in June but the Congress and other parties have already formed separate committees.
Though Pawan was not clear whether he and his party will contest the elections, he vowed to ensure that Congress lose in every constituency. Addressing thousands of his fans here Friday night, he gave a call ‘Congress hatao, desh bachao’ (Remove the Congress, save the nation).
Jana Sena is the second party to emerge in the aftermath of the southern state’s division. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who quit as chief minister and also resigned from Congress party to protest the state’s bifurcation, last week formed ‘Jai Samaikyandhra’.
Though famous as ‘power star’, Pawan is no match to superstar Chiranjeevi in terms of popularity, the question in everybody’s mind is will he succeed where his eldest brother failed.
Chiranjeevi floated PRP on the plank of social justice in 2008. Many expected him to break the record of legendary actor N.T. Rama Rao, who came to power within nine months after he floated Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1982.
Unlike his many super hit movies, Chiranjeevi’s political debut proved a disaster as PRP drew a blank in Lok Sabha elections and bagged only 18 seats in 294-member assembly in 2009. Pawan had campaigned along with his brother and was heading youth wing of the party.
Pawan fell out with his brother in 2010 when he merged PRP with Congress. Unlike Chiranjeevi, Pawan was aggressive both in his attack on Congress and in voicing his views on people’s problems. Living up to his screen image of ‘angry young man’ he tried to strike a chord with people by narrating incidents from his student days to highlight the social inequality.
“I always felt frustrated over not being able to do anything but Jana Sena will ensure that law equally applies to all,” he said.
In a two-hour-long speech punched with film dialogues, which was televised live at 28 centres, Pawan declared his party as common man’s sena (army) and vowed to end social injustice and corruption. The 43-year-old also wooed youth saying his party will choose morally strong and socially responsible youth as its leaders.
Pawan also tried to reach out to people in Telangana by repeatedly describing it as ‘mana’ (our) Telangana.
Though hailing from Kapus, a community which Congress is trying to woo, the young actor declared that the party will be above religion, caste and region.
Even while targeting the Congress, he spared his brother. “It’s my misfortune that I am standing against my elder brother but he will always remain in heart,” he said. He also tried to give a clean chit to Chiranjeevi over bifurcation, saying he can’t be blamed for a decision taken by the Congress leadership.
It will be a lone battle for Pawan as almost the entire family is behind Chiranjeevi. K. Naga Babu, elder brother of Pawan, has already announced that he would continue to support Chiranjeevi. “It is because of Chiranjeevi that we have recognition and prestige in society,” said Naga Babu, a not so popular actor.
Chiranjeevi is also backed by his son Ramcharan Teja and nephew Allu Arjun, both young and famous actors.
By announcing that he is ready to join hands with any party except the Congress, Pawan has left everyone guessing.
Political analysts believe with considerable fan following in both Seemandhra and Telangana, the actor may play spoil sport for the major parties.