Is casteism New Age Politics, Pawan?

Given the current tide of Kapus jumping ship and joining Jana Sena Party (JSP), it looks the party founder Pawan Kalyan is encouraging Kapu dominance in the party. As someone who came into politics thundering the message of eliminating casteism, Pawan is now working against his own core beliefs. His claims of “New Age Politics” could be dashed if this continues to become “Kapu Sena.”

Leaning heavily on the Kapus, it looks like Pawan Kalyan is committing the same mistake his big brother Chiranjeevi fell for. Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party relied heavily on Kapu votebank in the Godavari districts. Now, after bifurcation, Kapus again see Jana Sena as their golden chance to pole vault into the corridors of power. Aware of the fact that the vote swing is decided by Kapus in Andhra Pradesh, he has set his eyes on key seats that Praja Rajyam had won in the Godavari region.

If we look at a few incidents on Jana Sena’s stance over Kapus, Pawan Kalyan dashed off an open letter to AP CM Chandrababu Naidu, demanding inclusion of the community in the BC list, soon after the Kapu Quota Agitation in Tuni.

The recent Kavathu by Jana Sena from Dowleswaram Barrage also was a show of strength from the Kapu heartland. While Pawan Kalyan is known to make high-voltage political appearances and then go off the boil, one still wonder whether he would have dared to hold such a massive public gathering elsewhere in Andhra Pradesh.

On the other hand, Pawan could be BJP’s war-horse in Andhra Pradesh, to scrap TDP’s votebank in the Godavari region, the one that made the difference for TDP in 2014 elections. But, he would also have to fight the YSRCP in the Godavari region that could work with Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham.

Even as Pawan Kalyan has managed to portray himself as the saviour of people and reaches out to those in trouble, one needs to wait and watch whether his “New Age Politics” will depict him the champion of the Kapus or push him to the brink of self-destruction?

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