- To go Jr NTR’s way
- Naidu’s strategy for the hero
Hyderabad: Film hero and president of Jana Sena Pawan Kalyan is unwittingly walking in the footsteps of his junior in Tollywood, Jr NTR.
Those who are familiar with the politics in undivided Andhra Pradesh would recall the fate of Junior NTR who campaigned in 2009 general elections for the TDP. He imagined that he would be given the place due to him in the party after the elections. The party lost the elections despite its unholy alliance with the TRS whose sole agenda was formation of separate State of Telangana. After the elections were over, TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu and his brother-in-law and film hero Nandamuri Balakrishna (NBK) had shown Jr NTR his place by dumping in the dust bin by all means. Why did they do it?
Jr NTR had become a hurdle for both Balakrishna and his son-in-law Nara Lokesh, the only son of Naidu. As a film hero, Jr NTR came to represent the legacy of senior NTR. It is a fact that Jr NTR, more than NBK, resembles the former chief minister Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao in mannerisms, diction and action. NBK may have feared that Jr NTR might eclipse him in the tinsel world.
Naidu himself might have entertained some fears regarding the political clout that Jr NTR was developing. That would certainly come in the way of political growth of his son Lokesh. Both Naidu and NBK had successfully marginalised Jr NTR politically. Even in films it became difficult for Jr NTR to find a producer to field him as a hero. Whenever a Jr NTR starrer is released the duo make it a point to see that theatres don’t come forward to show it. When the film is released after A lot of efforts by producer, NBK’s fans go out of the way to publicise that the film is a flop. The recent film acted by Jr NTR, Janata Garage, could overcome these hurdled. It was a super hit. This may give Jr NTR a fresh lease.
The same fate may be awaiting Pawan Kalyan who is acting according to the script penned by Naidu. Pawan helped Naidu win the 2014 elections. Without the help of Modi wave and Pawan’s hava, Naidu would have been in the opposition and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy the chief minister. Pawan had gone to Gandhinagar to meet Modi during the campaign. He became very close to the top leaders of the BJP. Once there was a talk that Pawan would be promoted as a BJP’s chief ministerial candidate and that the BJP would snap ties with the TDP at an appropriate time to contest next elections independently with the support of Kapu community.
Naidu had tried to kill more than two birds in one shot. By somehow influencing Pawan Kalyan to organize an impromptu public meeting at Tirupati and following it up with another show at Kakinada, he succeeded in creating differences between Pawan and the national leadership of the BJP. At the Kakinada meeting, Pawan was at his ruthless best when he mounted an attack on the BJP leadership in general and Venkaiah Naidu in particular. Pawan was extremely critical of the BJP for denying the promised special category status to AP. He also castigated the Congress. He did not utter a single word against the TDP and its leader Naidu. BJP leaders had hit back at Pawan with all their might without realizing that they are walking into Naidu’s trap. The first objective of creating a rift between Pawan and the BJP leadership was achieved by Naidu effortlessly. Pawan has to strengthen his own party failing which he had to support Naidu in the next elections. The other objective of Naidu was to distance Pawan from the mainstream Kapu community. The community under the leadership of Mudragada Padmanabham has been waging a war against Naidu for the betrayal by not fulfilling the promised reservations. The Kapu community was aghast when it sensed that their young hero has become a guided missile in the hands of wily Naidu. He is now alienated from the Kapu community.
It is known to Naidu that the Kapu community is not going to support him in 2019. That is why he started encouraging the BC leaders to oppose the Kapu movement for reservations. Recently the Kapu and BC demonstrators came to blows. The CM would be further creating misunderstandings between the BCs and Kapus. So, whatever political ambition that Pawan Kalyan had entertained have come to a naught.
If Pawan Kalyan’s film career also is ruined he will be further marginalised. His last film did not do well at the box office. Naidu can create problems for Pawan in Tollywood, where the CM enjoys a formidable clout, the same way as he did to Jr NTR. It is not impossible for Naidu to disable Pawan by all means.
All these efforts are being put up by Naidu in order to pave the way for his son to take over the mantle, surely of the party and hopefully of the government, from him. Mission Lokesh broods no interference. There shall be no young leader like Pawan Kalyan or Jr NTR to challenge Lokesh. Pawan is not like his elder brother Chiranjeevi who is more accomplished. He merged his party PRP with the Congress after making good money. Observers say, all said and done, Chiranjeevi is a gentleman unlike his younger brother who shouts like mad and gesticulated in a wild manner. He does not come across as a serious minded, civilised politician. He had been used by Naidu in one election and the CM is sure to throw him away as he did with Jr NTR, the political observers opine.