Pawan Kalyan has often been criticized for his inconsistent political appearances. After rousing speeches before 2014 elections, he simply went back to anonymity. Then again he appeared a few times in Amaravati with what seemed like a confused agenda. He again slipped back into oblivion later. The common refrain on him was that if he seriously wants to be a politician he should better behave like one. Politicians do not have the comfort of selective appearances. Whether in government or in opposition they need to be there always voicing their opinion on all issues which arise and which are considered important from peoples’s perspective.
So, when totally out of the blue, when he announced a public meeting in Tirupati, everyone was sceptical. That his meeting will be well attended and well covered on live TV was a given. But there were certainly doubts on whether he would speak anything of substance at all or would he again resort to some rousing histrionics only to slip away into oblivion later. Only time will tell if he would now be a serious politician but what certainly can be said about today’s speech is that he was forthright, frank and did not mince his words.
He took on the central government with all his might about dilly dallying on granting special status to AP. He particularly targeted Venkaiah Naidu for his duplicity and advised Venkaiah to keep peoples interests ahead of those of his party. He went as far as saying that Delhi can not hear us as we are from down south and vowed to make them hear our voice. AP BJP should certainly be worried that another influential voice is now beginning to seriously question them on their silence on assistance to AP. He ridiculed their posturing on giving ‘kaaki lekkalu’ on their supposed assistance to the state.
He did not spare the TDP either. He questioned them sharply on whether they have anything to hide from CBI as a result of which they are only behaving like beggars in front of the centre. Why fear the centre if you have nothing to hide, was his straight question to TDP. He asked Ashok Gajapathi Raju on why he simply can’t tender his resignation as a union minister and fight for the people of AP.
He was of course, at his vitriolic best while talking on the Congress.
No one knows if Pawan Kalyan is capable of sustaining a serious campaign which can put pressure on the centre for giving AP its rightful due. As is the norm in politics, they will certainly try their best to neutralise his opposition. But one thing is clear. With his straight talk, he put the special status fight issue right on top once again.
Vexed with an evasive BJP leadership and a TDP that is at best putting up only a feeble fight, people were certainly looking out for someone who does not mince words and demands the special status tag seriously. Pawan Kalyan has occupied that space today.