If I become AP CM, we will make sure South Indian interests are protected: Pawan Kalyan

Urging the Centre not to overlook the interests of south Indian states, Telugu superstar and Janasena Party Chief Pawan Kalyan on Wednesday said that he was looking to initiate a South Indian collective movement that would ensure the rights of South Indians at the National level.

Addressing a press conference at the Taj Connemara in Chennai, the bold Telugu actor, known for his outspokenness, said that his visit to Chennai was to share details of himself and his party with the people here.

“As a political party, we keep approaching different countries but we never get to know our neighbouring states. So, my purpose is to introduce myself and make sure we understand each other before addressing the political leaders from here and other south Indian states. This is Janasena’s first exercise to introduce ourselves to the people of Tamil Nadu. I felt the need for it as the future of the country is coalition politics. The regional players are going to play a pivotal role. So, I felt that there was a need to know our neighbouring states’ political landscape,” the actor pointed out.

Pointing out that North Indian states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were the ones that were dominating and deciding the future of the country, the superstar said that unless a strong southern political movement was created, it would be very difficult in the years to come to face the North Indian leadership.

Recalling what Dr B R Ambdedkar had predicted, Pawan Kalyan said the great statesman had forewarned that if Uttar Pradesh was made a large state, it was going to dominate the entire country in future. “His vision came true,” the actor added and recalled that Ambdekar had suggested having a second capital in the South of India.

The actor urged the Central government not to overlook the interests of the south and to make sure that the South was understood through its people and not by its elected representatives.

“The problem with combined Andhra Pradesh’s bifurcation also was that the Congress party thought that they had understood Andhra Pradesh, which they hadn’t. This is because elected representatives truly don’t represent the people. So, we want national leaders to understand the pain and the agony of the south – Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu or the rest of the states,” he said.

Talking about the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the pain it had caused because of the haphazard manner in which it was done, the actor said, “They did not give us what we deserve. In a haphazard manner, the state was bifurcated. Today, our own state political leaders like ChandraBabu Naidu have conveniently forgotten what Congress and BJP had done. According to their convenience, they keep shifting their stand and it is causing a lot of distress and distrust amongst the current generation. So, JSP is going to fight against this.”

“The bifurcation really caused a lot of pain in Andhra Pradesh. I had conveyed this to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji. I requested him to bring back some accountability. Whatever was promised should be given to us. If not, they at least owe us an explanation as to why they cannot give us. Each and every political player is using it for their convenience. JanaSena Party is different. We want to make sure we bring back political accountability,” he said.

Stating that he wanted the Central government to look at the southern part of India and to take note of the southern states’ issues, Pawan Kalyan asked the Centre not to ignore these states just because their parliamentarians were lesser in number when compared to Uttar Pradesh.

“I came here to convey that somewhere, there is a need for all the south Indians to come together, because they smaller players are victimised. As we become more regional, we tend to lose our power. The issue is, here, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the ones who are going to decide the Indian political system. They are going to decide what our future is going to be. In some way, this has to be stopped. Somewhere, we have to have a major say. Being small players, we are losing ground. So, we, at Jana Sena party, felt that we would like to approach each and every small player pan India. We would like to start from the southern part first. We want to see all the regional players come together so our interests can be safeguarded and this is what has made me come here,” he said.

While answering questions, the actor and political leader also made it clear that he wanted South India to play a major role, not as individual entities, but as one single south unit. “Otherwise, we would be losing a lot in the bargain,” he said.

Answering a question if Andhra Pradesh would be the driving force of the movement, the political leader and actor said, “ No,not necessarily. We have to be a collective force. It is not about one individual or one state spearheading the movement. It is about all of us put together to safeguard the interests of the south. For instance, who understands Jallikattu? One who is born and brought up here. As being a part of the Dravidian culture, we understand so many things. And India is about unity in diversity. We have to understand the cultural aspects of each and every state. As being a part of one whole Dravidian region, we understand more. That should be the essential fibre which should connect all of us.”

Replying to another question, the actor made it clear that this was not about creating a separate nation. “I want the diversity aspect of our country to be respected. Never ignore that part. Last two decades, I think that has been neglected quite a lot. We should make sure that North Indian political leadership understand our sensitivities and culture,” he opined.

Finally, answering a question on who he was going to project as the Chief Ministerial candidate for the 2019 State Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Pawan Kalyan said, “I am projecting myself as the Chief Ministerial candidate of Andhra Pradesh. And if I become the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, I will make sure that south India will play a dominant role in Indian Politics. We will make sure that we safeguard south Indian Dravidian interests. Jai hind.”