What Is Happening To Kapus?

  • Chiru, Pawan Fooling Whom?
  • What is Dasari up to?
  • Can Mudragada Mobilise Support?

Hyderabad: ‘Times are changing and new winds are blowing’, said Dasari Narayana Rao, a famous film personality, former Union Minister and a prominent Kapu leader. Tollywood thespian was at his best wit when this correspondent spoke to him on Wednesday to know his reaction on the moves and counter moves among the Kapus and for influence over the Kapu community. Dasari sounded on phone extremely happy after the bigwigs of his community, including mega star and former Union Minister K Chiranjeevi, former Union Minister Pallam Raju of the Congress, Botcha Satyanarayana and Ambati Rambabu of the YSRCP and Mudragada Padmanabham, the star attraction who has been leading the movement demanding reservations for Kapu community in Andhra Pradesh, had feasted at his residence on Tuesday.

Mudragada in Hyderabad
Mudragada was in Hyderabad to mobilise support for his movement. Many prominent Kapu leaders rallied behind him and Dasari was seen as a leader behind the new found unity. They met on Tuesday for the second time in a week and resolved to stand behind Mudragada like a rock. Ambati Rambabu said all the leaders have pledged unstinting support to Mudragada in whatever he did. Mudragada has planned a rally on September 11 at Rajamahendravaram to increase the pressure on the TDP-BJP government in AP to concede his demand to include the Kapus in BC category.

In the meanwhile, Tollywood hero and President of Jana Sena Party Pawan Kalyan, younger brother of Chiranjeevi, had announced in a suddenly organised public meeting at Tirupati recently that he would be addressing a big meeting at Kakinada, another important town in East Godavari district, considered to be a stronghold of Kapu community. Pawan Kalyan’s decision to organise meetings in all the district headquarters in AP took the political parties by surprise. His demand for special status for AP and his strident attack on the BJP and The TDP at Tirupati meeting for not acting on the poll promise of special status are not emotional outbursts as they appear. Political observers feel they are calculated and calibrated statements aimed at political targets. His diatribe against the Congress party is nothing new. Even the TDP leaders were unable to understand and appreciate the hero’s motives. Those who are from his community were praising Pawan for boldly questioning the State and Central governments. Those who are not pally with him questioned his motives. For instance, former Minister in Congress government and industrialist TG Venkatesh described the actor as politically immature. But Bonda Umamaheswara Rao, an influential TDP MLA from Vijayawada Central constituency, flayed Venkatesh for criticising Pawan Kalyan.

What is the game plan?
But the popular question these days that one hears in Coastal Andhra is what is the game plan of the Tollywood brothers- Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan? It is not for the first time in AP politics that two siblings are leaders of different parties. Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy was a stalwart among the Congress leaders of yesteryear’s while his younger brother Neelam Rajasekhara Reddy was an accomplished Communist leader. Their brother-in-law Tarimala Nagireddy was a Naxalite leader. In Telangana, Chennamaneni Rajeswara Rao, who died recently, was a senior Communist leader who in the evening if his life switched over to the TDP. His younger brother Chennamaneni Vidyasagararao was a BJP leader who was appointed as Governor of Maharashtra as soon as Narendra Modi took over the reins as Prime Minister. But the above said personalities were known for their political philosophies. The Tollywood brothers have only their charisma and no particular ideology. Chiranjeevi fought 2009 election as president of Praja Rajyam Party (PRP). It got only 18 seats and less than 20 percent of votes. The party was later merged with the Congress. Chiranjeevi was made Rajya Sabha Member and Union Minister of State for Tourism. The party lost pitiably in the election. Pawan Kalyan, on the other hand, was on the winning side sharing platform with BJP Prime Ministetial Candidate Modi and TDP president Nara Chandrababu Naidu. His public support helped the TDP-BJP combination to win majority of seats and form a government.

After the formation of government in AP, Pawan Kalyan went back to acting. He made a brief appearance some months ago at Amaravati to declare his support to the farmers who were agitated over the land pooling exercise undertaken by Naidu government. He came before the people once again at Tirupati recently. It was his first public meeting after the elections. While Chiranjeevi was attending the regular activities of the Congress party while pursuing his 150th film, Pawan was talking about strengthening his party-Jana Sena. Outside the political arena and in film functions both the brothers exhibit their affection towards each other. But in politics they are in two different spectrum. Pawan was siding with Naidu who is considered to be a bitter enemy of the Congress party whose leader is Chiranjeevi.

Even regarding the Kapu movement, the brothers are ranged on two opposite sides. The recent hyperactivity by Pawan is generally believed to be a clever move by Naidu to take the wind out of YSRCP leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s struggle for special status. The meeting attended by BJP President Amt Shaw, Venkaiah Naidu and Sujana Chowdary to discuss the package to be given to AP in lieu of special status was also attributed the pressure being brought about by Pawan. There was another theory that says the BJP is behind the recent spurt in the activity of Pawan Kalyan and it is hoping to court the Kapu community successfully. It plans to appear to be giving package because of Pawan and thus rally the community behind the BJP headed by the actor.

Then what would be the role of ageing film personality Dasari Narayana Rao who needs a political clout to be used to save his skin in coal scam? He had plans to launch his own political party in cooperation with Mudragada Padmanabham two decades ago. But they did not materialise. The latest is the second attempt by Kapu leaders to bring about elusive unity. This is happening for the first time after the death of redoubtable leader of Kapu Nadu, Miriyala Venkata Rao.

– Primepost Bureau

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