Why did Pawan Kalyan go back on chief minister ambition, speak of own defeat in 2024?

Is Pawan Kalyan seriously up for bigger challenges in politics or simply playing around with his aspirational fans with a string of about-turns to keep them illusioned till the elections?

Why did Pawan Kalyan go back on chief minister ambition, speak of own defeat in 2024?

HYDERABAD: What is it with Power Star-turned-netha Pawan Kalyan and his hide and seek with the chief-ministership of Andhra Pradesh, one may wonder.

It’s barely five days since the mercurial Jana Sena chief announced his chief-ministerial aspirations at the beginning of his ongoing Varahi Yatra in the erstwhile undivided Godavari districts. But, even before the intrigued public could come to terms with it, he flattered to deceive with a quiet retraction from this standpoint. This begs the obvious question: Is the Jana Sena chief seriously up for bigger challenges in politics or simply playing around with his aspirational fans with a string of about-turns to keep them illusioned till the elections?

Days after haughtily announcing his preparedness and asking his fans and people to elect him as their Chief Minister, the Power Star found comfort yet again in backfoot defence. Already notorious for his frequent flippant remarks in public, the temperamental leader simply played into the hands of his YSRCP opponents who often mock him for being fickle-minded, both in his words and deeds.

After setting out on his beastly campaign vehicle, the enigmatic leader first stirred the pot of curiosity by presenting himself as a serious contender for the coveted post. Initially, it was taken with a pinch of salt as the assertion came in complete contrast to his earlier stated position.

But just when everyone seemed to be buying it, he hit the ‘undo’ button in a couple of exclusive interviews he gave to a section of media that props him, at least for now. In complete contrast to his ‘I am for CM’ announcement which came amidst boisterous cheers, the news of his retreat was a hush hush affair. It was tucked in between a swarm of questions and buried in the inside pages of the two vernacular newspapers. The revelation was quiet and discreet but the message was loud and clear; that the muscle-flexing Power Star is in fact still far from being intrepid in his decisions.

As his true intentions were exposed, it had tongues wagging that PK’s proclamations and their implementation are like the estranged partners that never see eye to eye.

To get to the bottom of this farcical riddle involving Pawan Kalyan, let’s run the sequence of related events in a filmy-styled, ‘back and forth’ screenplay.

Flip-flop once again – Beginning of Varahi Yatra

On the very first day of his most-hyped yatra, Pawan Kalyan threw his hat in the ring for the chief-ministership of Andhra Pradesh. In a stunning move that regaled his die-hard followers and left the political pundits and observers puzzled, the Jana Sena chief announced his preparedness to assume the most coveted seat in the state, provided people gave him the full mandate. If the jaws dropped at this statement, it was not because he finally showed the belly for a big fight to go after the envious throne. But because he just did a 360-degree volte-face from his previously committed stand on the chief-ministership, which caused flutters in the political circles on what’s exactly weighing on his mind.

Why is this a shocker..!

In May 2023, the Jana Sena chief was hypothetically asked whether he would demand the chief minister’s post if an anti-YSRCP coalition featuring Jana Sena won the 2024 election. Unflustered, he poured cold water on the aspirations of his Jana Sainiks, saying that he would not be in the reckoning for the top post which, in his opinion, deserves a person with maturity, experience and, above all, sound knowledge of issues on the ground.

If this was a shocker in itself, the logic he shared with the media for this conclusion was regarded even more bewildering. As per his assessment, he would have been in contention for the post this time, if only he had won 30 to 40 seats in the 2019 elections. Since his party had bagged only one (even the lone legislator deserted him later) seat, he would not be able to go after the chief minister’s chair this time around.

More than the modesty in it, his statement was instantly taken for his diffidence and as the whimper of a star who often likens himself to a roaring lion. It provided enough cannon fodder to the YSRCP which felt vindicated in its claims that Pawan Kalyan was in politics only to play second fiddle to Chandrababu Naidu and serve the latter’s interests as his ‘foster son’. While the netizens had a field day in taunting the Jana Sena chief as the Package Star, he drew flak from many including Ramgopal Varma. The maverick film director, in his inimitable style, tweeted, ‘expressing his condolences’ to the Jana Sainiks over their leader fleeing from war much before the battle lines were drawn and for leaving his party workers in a quandary.

CM post contention claim only to keep fans happy

When the Jana Sena chief emphatically unveiled his chief-ministerial ambitions five days ago, the immediate popular presumption was that he was trying to make amends in a damage-control exercise (His preceding confession that he is not eligible for the hot seat in 2024 since he was not bestowed with at least 30-40 seats in 2019 caused enough tremors among his self-respecting fans and followers). This has imposed the compulsion to make tall claims so that it will keep the Jana Sena morale high and his flock together. No one would have ever imagined, not even a single Jana Sainik, that he would wave the white flag so soon, in fact, within five days.

In one of those interviews to the vernacular dailies, Pawan Kalyan claimed, with boyish innocence, that his announcement on the CM post contention was only meant to keep his fans happy and that he was still not ripe for the most envious seat.

“The position requires a lot of experience to be the guiding force for crores of lives. One needs to acquire awareness on the issues by undertaking ground-level visits. I merely endorsed the aspirations of my folks when they were raising the ‘CM. CM’ slogans. The wishes of my fans alone are not enough. Even the people should believe that I need to become the CM”....!

His veiled admission that he was way too short of the eligibility parameters is no less than shooting himself in the foot.

In other words, it’s ‘hara kiri’ of the highest order especially after convincingly promising to transform the State to be the best in the country and pleading with the people to anoint him as the chief minister. Many of those, scratching their heads over these extremely oscillating contradictions, might mistake the eccentric star for a novice struggling with stunted growth in politics. But, what if he is swearing by the adage ‘confuse, if you cannot conquer’, having been caught between his die-hard followers on one side and his inexplicable obligation to fight someone else’s battle?

Given Pawan Kalyan’s alacrity for faux pas, it appears that, by the time his Varahi catches some dirt towards the fag end of the current yatra, the maze of his intriguing retreats may only get bigger and messier. The latest about-turn is only the tip of an iceberg considering how frequently and unabashedly Pawan Kalyan shifted the goalpost on several issues since he entered active politics.

Predicts own defeat, then, why all the hue and cry..?!

This startling self-goal makes Pawan Kalyan one unique player in the arena of politics with dubious distinction. As if prophesying his own electoral debacle for the second time in 2024, Pawan Kalyan proclaimed that he began locking horns with the YSRCP goons after making up his mind that he would be defeated again. For the Jana Sainiks, still smarting under the 2014 humiliating defeat, this would be the ultimate snub, coming straight from their own unrepentant boss.

Chandrababu keen on elevating Lokesh, Pawan Kalyan content with subservience

Even in the midst of his inconsistent utterances, Pawan Kalyan has been steadfastly subservient to Chandrababu Naidu and captive to the latter’s dreams to see his son Lokesh in the Chief Minister’s chair. This is an insinuation, at least in the eyes of his detractors, say the YSRCP bandwagon. It is also speculated that there could be a certain TDP or Chandrababu Naidu factor behind his sudden climbdown from his chief-ministerial aspirations.

Even assuming he had nursed such ambitions, it is anybody’s guess as to what would be the repercussions for him from the TDP and its friendly media. Given the nascent shape of the so-called three-dimensional alliance framework, Pawan Kalyan cannot announce his plans without the backing of the other two parties. The actor may find some support from the Jana Sena’s alliance partner BJP but that would hardly be of any help in moving the mountains for the Jana Sena chief..

The challenge for him would be in dealing with the wily veteran Chandrababu Naidu and make him sing along for his campaign. On the flipside, even a semblance of concession in this regard would only mean the end of the road for both the TDP chief and his son Nara Lokesh. Will Chandrababu Naidu, whose political opportunism is legendary, display so much of chivalry and be willing to step aside for Pawan Kalyan is a million-dollar question.

The TDP chief, in fact, has been moving heaven and earth to make his son worthy of the big fight for the Chief Minister’s throne. Ending the kid-glove treatment, he even put Lokesh on a long, strenuous Yuva Galam padayatra ordeal under the illusion that he too would be bestowed with power like how the people offered it to YS Jagan on a platter in 2019.

The YSRCP leaders claim that Nara Lokesh’s padayatra was the sole reason for the frequent postponement of Pawan Kalyan’s Varahi yatra, clearly at the behest of Chandrababu Naidu. To Naidu’s misery, Lokesh’s Yuva Galam hasn’t been able to evoke overwhelming public response and there were no serious takers even in the media now except the pro-TDP news channels and publications.

And there entered Pawan Kalyan on his Varahi at a time when the TDP prince runs the risk of fast fading out of the larger public attention. Needless to say, at whose instigation..!

As history showcases, Pawan Kalyan’s loose cannon behaviour is proving to be his proverbial Achilles heel. Incidentally, the mythological Greek warrior too wages his final battle that is never his own. In hindsight, he too is guilty of playing his part in reducing the city of Troy to rubble for the sake of a self-serving supremacist.

Next Story

Similar Posts