Amaravati: Making a head start, actor-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party on Monday formally announced names of two candidates who would contest the April 11 Lok Sabha election from Andhra Pradesh. The party also finalised names of seven other Lok Sabha candidates and 32 for the Andhra Pradesh State Assembly polls but the entire list would be made public in a day or two, Kalyan said in a statement. He later tweeted: “After a diligent process, the general body of our party has finalised the first list of candidates for 32 Assembly and 9 parliamentary constituencies.”
Akula Satyanarayana, former BJP MLA from Rajamahendravaram (Rural), has been chosen as the JSP nominee for the Rajamahendravaram Lok Sabha constituency. Satyanarayana had quit the Assembly membership and the BJP last month and joined the Jana Sena. He also announced that D M R Sekhar, a retired ONGC official, would be the JSP candidate from Amalapuram (SC) Lok Sabha constituency.
“Sekhar has been a supporter of Jana Sena since its formation in 2014. Akula Satyanarayana is very close to our family for years. I wish both get elected to Parliament and serve people better,” Kalyan said. Both Rajamahendravaram and Amalapuram are in East Godavari district that is considered a stronghold of the Jana Sena, given the caste equations. Jana Sena is the first party to announce its candidates (first list) for the elections, notification for which will be issued on March 18. Floated in March 2014, ahead of the then general elections, the Jana Sena did not field candidates in Andhra Pradesh or Telangana. Kalyan, who has a massive fan following in both the states, instead, lent support to the TDP-BJP combine that fought the elections together.
He, however, fell out with the BJP after the NDA government denied special category status for Andhra Pradesh. He subsequently broke ties with the TDP as well, alleging massive corruption in the Chandrababu Naidu administration. Kalyan, in particular, targeted the Chief Ministers son and state Information Technology Minister Nara Lokesh on corruption. After hitting out at Kalyan for several months, Naidu changed tack, saying the actor-turned-politician was fighting for the State’s cause. He also did not rule out the possibility of re-aligning with the Jana Sena. Kalyan, however, asserted that there was no question of joining hands with the TDP again and formalized JSPs alliance with the CPI and the CPI-M. The JSP is organising a public meeting at Rajamahendravaram on March 14 to celebrate its formation day. Kalyan would formally launch his partys election campaign that day.