Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan slammed the Chandrababu Naidu government for what he called its “opportunistic politics”, and accused the BJP of creating “something bordering on dictatorial democracy” in the country.
He also said that the government had mis-stepped by stopping the protests in Vishakapatnam, and that they should not believe the protests would die down.
Addressing a news conference on Friday morning on the issue of special category status, Pawan warned the government against believing that the protests would die down since the agitation at Vishakapatnam’s RK beach had been prevented. “All the youth of this state came together for a common goal. They wanted to make their voice heard in unison and this how you treat them? You should have given them permission for at least one hour. Now you have only made them angrier by this. Let me tell you now, you may have postponed the agitation but please don’t think you stopped it.”
Pawan said that he had joined politics because of the anger and frustration of the people. “The reason I joined politics and started Jana Sena was because of frustration and anger, because certain promises made to the people of the state were not being implemented on time and being delayed.”
Pawan went on to attack both the TDP and the BJP for making promises to the people during election campaigns and turning their back on the people afterwards. “I am disappointed with this opportunistic politics where they make promises to the people, but nothing happens once they get into power,” he said.
He said that he had supported the TDP-BJP alliance in 2014 because the people were tired of 10 years of Congress rule, and were hopeful about a new Prime Minister coming up. He said that he had not spoken up even during the cash-for-votes scam, as he felt that such scandals emerge about every party. Moreover, he felt that if politicians kept fighting with each other, that would only hurt the people.
“Now BJP and PM Modi have finished close to three years in power. We had asked for a democracy. But seeing what happened from FTII to Rohith Vemula, and more recently even demonetisation, what we have got is something bordering on dictatorial democracy,” he said.
He also accused the BJP of not keeping the interests of the people at heart. “Even during jallikattu, when I tried to understand what was happening, I realised that the local sentiment was that since Jayalalithaa’s death, the BJP was attacking their Dravidian culture,” he said.
Targetting both Chandrababu Naidu and Venkaiah Naidu, Pawan accused them of pretending to care about injustices to Andhra only in order to win votes. “Before the elections, both Chandrababu Naidu and Venkaiah Naidu had spoken about how injustice was meted out to Andhra and how they were in need of help. But now after taking all the votes they have gone back on their word,” he said.
“Do you think this is a game? If you turn your back on us, do you think people will fold their hands and prostate in front of you?” Pawan demanded of Venkaiah Naidu.
He also demanded that Chandrababu Naidu explain how he had agreed to the compromise of a special package instead of sticking to the demand for special status. “As far as Naidu is concerned we made him CM because he is experienced. We had great expectations of him. How could he go back on his word and cheat us? Why have you compromised? On what basis did you decide that a special package is enough? This answer you have to tell the people not me,” he said.
Pawan also hit back at those who had criticised him for taking a contrary line to the TDP-BJP alliance that he had supported before. “I waved their flag. My supporters waved their flag. I campaigned for them. That time they didn’t question my politics. Now that they have turned back on their promise, and today when I question them, they are asking me to learn politics before questioning,” he said.