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Exclusive: Why did Amit Shah suggest JSP-BJP merger?

HYDERABAD: In an interaction with the media at Kondagattu in Jagitial district a couple of days ago, actor-turned-Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan recalled that he had rejected a proposal from Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah, made after the 2014 elections that Jana Sena be merged with the BJP.

In fact, Pawan had said it in the past also, but nobody paid much attention to it. But after his latest statement, the focus is now on why Amit Shah had made the proposal and why Pawan had rejected it.

After all, Jana Sena did not contest the 2014 elections but merely campaigned for the TDP-BJP combine. Since he did not have (even now he says he does not have) the ambition of becoming the chief minister of the state, he could as well merge his party with the BJP.

In any case, running a political party without any ideological base or organizational structure at the grass-root level , is not so easy, let alone capturing power.

So, what could have happened then?

According to sources, Pawan met Amit Shah after the elections and requested that he be accommodated in the Union cabinet headed by Narendra Modi.

He told the BJP president that he would request Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu to nominate him to Rajya Sabha, so that he could become the Central Minister.

However, Amit Shah reportedly told him that it was not possible to take him into the Union cabinet unless Jana Sena is part of the NDA. But the problem was that Jana Sena was not a recognised party, as it had not contested even a single seat and therefore did not have the required percentage of votes.

So, Shah suggested that it would be better if Pawan merged Jana Sena with the BJP or at least in the TDP, so that he could be given the Rajya Sabha seat as well as the central minister post.

But Pawan had different ideas. He wanted to continue Jana Sena and at the same time, become the Central minister so that he could develop the party in the next five years as a force to reckon with in the state politics.

If he winds up the Jana Sena without achieving anything credible, he would end up a disaster, much worse than Praja Rajyam Party.

That is why, Pawan rejected Amit Shah’s offer and continued to run the Jana Sena Party on a low key while concentrating on his film career.

Unfortunately, even after four years, Jana Sena has failed to emerge as a strong political force!
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