Jana Sena president Pawan Kalyan dropped hints of his party patching up with the BJP, saying that the party only maintained distance as the latter failed to fulfil its pre-election promise of according the Special Category Status (SCS) to the State.
Replying to a query by media persons whether his party was moving closer to the BJP, Mr. Pawan Kalyan retorted: “You tell me when did I move away from the BJP?”
Asked if he would revive the links with the saffron party, he said he really did not know what was in store for the JSP and would not a hazard a guess at this juncture.
On YSR Congress Party (YSRC) leaders frequently taunting him as “TDP’s Team B” or acting at the behest of the BJP, Mr. Pawan Kalyan wondered where the YSRCP leaders would be today had he decided to fight the elections together with the TDP and the BJP.
He said it was his ‘conscious decision’ on ideological grounds to maintain distance from both parties. “YSRCP MLAs should be grateful to me for this opportunity,” he said.
Mr. Pawan Kalyan came out openly against religious conversions and demanded that the State government make its stand clear on the issue. He announced his commitment to protecting Hindu Dharma, even while staying secular.
He insisted that every religion should be respected and given the due space for its followers. “ I condemn any such attempt to encroach into the space of other faiths,” he said.
He minced no words in reiterating his commitment to secularism and cautioned people against ‘pseudo-secularists’ who, he said, were out to disturb communal harmony by pitting one community against the other.
Recalling the recent ‘mass conversion’ of 40 Hindus at Krishna Pushkar Ghat in Vijayawada, he wondered how officials of the Endowments Department, remained indifferent to it.
“The State government owes an explanation on religious conversions in general and this incident in particular, or else, people will have to take it as happening with the tacit approval of the CM,” he said.
Political Affairs Committee (PAC) Chairman Nadendla Manohar, member Arhan Khan and general secretary P. Hariprasad took part.