Pawan Kalyan welcomes BRS, Naidu repeats stampede conspiracy theories

Pawan Kalyan and Chandrababu Naidu vowed to put up a united fight until GO No.1, was revoked by the YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh

Chandrababu Naidu

HYDERABAD: Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday vowed to put up a united fight until GO No.1, banning public meetings and roadshows, was revoked by the YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh.

The two leaders, who held a two-and-a-half hour-long meeting at Chandrababu Naidu’s residence in Hyderabad, later jointly addressed the media. Pawan Kalyan felt the need for all opposition parties to come together to oppose the prohibitory order which, he claimed, was being used discriminatorily. Referring to the recent twin tragedies at Chandrababu Naidu’s events in Kandukur and Guntur, he blamed it on the failure of the police machinery.

Chandrababu Naidu, on the other hand, continued to harp on his accusations on the ruling YSRCP in connection with the stampede incidents. He alleged that the incidents in Kandukur and Guntur came as part of a YSRCP conspiracy.

While the two leaders firmly put their focus on the GO and the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government’s curbs on the opposition parties, a response from the Jana Sena chief on a question about the entry of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) into Andhra Pradesh politics did not go unnoticed. Pawan Kalyan welcomed the entry of BRS into Andhra Pradesh with a statesman-like comment that any party was free to contest elections in other states, especially when it had a national agenda.

Incidentally, a few influential leaders of Jana Sena, including former IAS officer Thota Chandrasekhar, have recently switched their loyalties to the BRS. K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), the BRS supremo, formally welcomed them into the BRS fold at a recent event in Hyderabad.

The Jana Sena president on Sunday said that he was closetted with Chandrababu to discuss the YSRCP-sponsored atrocities during the TDP chief’s visit to Kuppam over the last three days. Describing the police action against Naidu’s visit as barbaric, he said that similar tactics were also used against him when he tried to visit Visakhapatnam two months ago.

He alleged that the YS Jagan government had been conspiring to suppress the voice of the opposition parties from reaching the public by imposing archaic and British-era orders. He said that a plan of action would be devised soon to bring the YSRCP government on its knees and withdraw the GO.

He also defended the TDP chief in connection with the recent stampedes and said that it was the responsibility of the police and the official machinery to control law and order and ensure public safety at meetings. “You can’t expect opposition parties holding public meetings to also do the policing. That’s the job of the state police. The recent incidents clearly reflected the failure of the police and official machinery,” Pawan Kalyan commented.

He also promised to respond to all the comments being made by the YSRCP leaders during his public meeting on January 12.

Situation worse than dark, emergency days: Chandrababu

On the other hand, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu came up with the same vitriolic rhetoric that he kept using throughout his Kuppam visit. He claimed that, under YS Jagan’s rule, Andhra Pradesh was witnessing a time that was even worse and darker than the emergency days.

He chided Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy for using the Kandukur and Guntur stampede incidents to obstruct the opposition parties and gag their voices. Claiming that all key institutions in the state had been destroyed by the YS Jagan government, he appealed to all the political entities and people’s organisations to come together and safeguard democracy.

Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the GO No.1 was only intended to allow YS Jagan’s public meetings while crushing opposition attempts at that with an iron fist. Naidu also referred to Pawan Kalyan’s visits to Visakhapatnam and Ippatam near Mangalagiri and claimed that the Jana Sena chief was also subjected to severe harassment just because he took up people’s issues and questioned the YSRCP government.

Chandrababu Naidu however side-stepped the issue of a TDP-Jana sena poll alliance. He said that their focus was mainly on how to negate the draconian GO and the plan of action needed to force its revocation. “The first priority is to ensure that the opposition parties enjoyed their rightful freedom to protest. Elections and the alliances can always be discussed later,” he commented.

Repeating his accusations on the stampede deaths at his recent meetings in Kandukur and Guntur, he alleged that the incidents were part of a YSRCP conspiracy. “Why can’t the police deploy their personnel in sufficient numbers? I participated in rallies and roadshows in Kavali and other places even after those incidents. The policemen were in sufficient deployment. This is proof enough that the YSRCP government deliberately down-graded the police presence at Kandukur and Guntur meetings and caused the deaths,” Naidu claimed.

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