Power Star Pawan Kalyan hits out at Modi govt, demands for special status to AP

Hyderabad: Telugu film star and Jana Sena Party founder Pawan Kalyan on Saturday warned the Narendra Modi government not to test the “patience and tolerance” of people of Andhra Pradesh further and demanded that the promised special category state status be granted forthwith. “We are tired and vexed. Please don’t test our patience and cause intolerance. Special status is our right and it has to be granted at any cost,” Kalyan asserted and vowed to fight for it till the end. He accused the Centre of “diverting” the special status issue in the name of cow protection.

“You are thinking about cow protection. I have 15 cows (in my backyard). By taking up cow protection, you are only diverting other important issues,” Kalyan said.

“Hum ladenge. Jeetne tak ladenge. (We will fight till we win)”, the actor said in an emotion-filled tone at his first public meeting after a gap of over two years.

He attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu for allegedly seeking to “betray” the people of Seemandhra on one pretext or the other and denying special status to the state.

“Modiji, you said (during electioneering in 2014) that the Congress killed the mother (AP) and gave birth to a new baby (Telangana). Now, you are trying to cremate the mother,” Kalyan said.

“I have respect for you but not so much that I will mortgage the self-pride of Seemandhra people,” he said.

Attacking Jaitley and Naidu over their conflicting claims on special status, he said “Jaitley says several financial grants were released to AP in the last two years while Venkaiah Naidu says special status is not a panacea. We are tired of all this”.

“You are committing a mistake, Venkaiah Naidu garu. My age may not be equal to your political experience, but remember you are first a Telugu. You should speak in public interest first rather than your party interest,” he said. He demanded that Telugu Desam Party come out of the NDA government at the Centre if it could not fight and achieve special status as promised by the BJP. The actor-politican wondered what was preventing it from fighting for the rightful demand of special status to the state.

“They are apparently afraid that the Centre will set the CBI on them (TDP). Do you have anything to hide that you are so scared? Stall Parliament and achieve special status,” Kalyan said.

“I appeal to the Centre to not look at a few filthy rich TDP MPs like Kesineni Srinivas, Muralimohan, Avanti Srinivas and state minister P Narayana. Grant special status looking at the common people of the state,” he added.

Referring to Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju’s claim that three Chief Ministers were blocking the grant of special status to AP, Kalyan asked “why are you then hanging on to your post? Resign and come out.” He wound up his nearly one hour speech in a highly emotional tone remarking in English: “Respected sirs of BJP and Congress. We are deeply hurt that you are not able to see our angst, anguish, tears and anger. You may be sitting up north and we in down south and think we are not in your vicinity. But we will be in your vicinity and fight for our right.”

“Hum ladenge. Jeetne tak ladenge. (We will fight till we win)”, Kalyan summed up and announced he would organise a series of meetings on the special status issue beginning with a public meeting at Kakinada on September 9.