After silver screen, Pawan Kalyan eyes political blockbuster in Pithapuram | India News

PITHAPURAM: Nestled in the lush green landscapes of Kakinada district, Pithapuram embodies the very spirit of Andhra Pradesh – fertile lands, industrious people, and a semi-urban ambience. This unassuming assembly constituency, however, now finds itself at the heart of a political storm, capturing the attention not only within the state but also beyond its borders.
Jana Sena Party president K Pawan Kalyan (PK), who has made waves on the silver screen, has this time chosen Pithapuram to deliver a political blockbuster by taking on senior politician Vanga Geetha of YSRCP.The popular actor, who has a huge fan following, is hogging the limelight in the constituency.
Vasamsetty Raja Srinivas, a 31-year-old electrician from Pithapuram, paused his regular work a month ago to campaign for PK. Srinivas intends to resume work only after June 4, the day when the results will be declared. Lovaraju Bojja, a sub-inspector, took voluntary retirement in January to back PK.
This election outcome is crucial for PK and Jana Sena, which suffered a resounding defeat in the 2019 polls. The party secured only one assembly seat in the Razole constituency managing a modest 7% vote share across 137 assembly segments it contested last time. Even PK faced defeat in two assembly seats- Bhimavaram and Gajuwaka.
Despite these setbacks, Pawan Kalyan remains actively engaged in politics.
The actor-turned-politician faces a formidable opponent in Geetha – a former Rajya Sabha MP, an ex-MLA from Pithapuram and incumbent YSRCP Kakinada MP. She highlights YSRCP’s achievements and welfare initiatives and questions PK’s ‘outsider’ status and his alleged instability in politics.
A former political colleague of Pawan Kalyan – Geetha was elected as an MLA for the first time from Praja Rajyam Party, founded by popular Telugu actor and Kalyan’s brother, K Chiranjeevi – her candidature adds intrigue to the electoral battle.
Moreover, in a constituency predominantly influenced by Kapu community, an upper caste of land-owning agriculturists, YSRCP believes that the support of Kapu chieftain Mudragada Padmanabham, who recently joined the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh, could sway the community in their favour. Padmanabham enjoys a strong following in the area. Interestingly, both Pawan Kalyan and Geetha belong to the same community.
TOI spent a day in the constituency and found that while a section of people is yearning for change, another group sees a brighter future under Geetha. RV Satyanarayana, an auto driver from Pithapuram, complained about poor infrastructure. “The green tax for autos was increased to Rs 3,000 from Rs 300 a few years ago. This time, we will vote for the glass tumbler (symbol of PK),” he said.
On the other side, there are supporters for Geetha. Ummidi Venkateswarlu from Fakruddinpalem village in the constituency, explained how Geetha, as an MLA, fought for the Suddagadda canal. “The constituency has witnessed a lot of development during her tenure. Our support goes to her,” he said.
Making things interesting, Yedida Rao, a graduate cobbler, has thrown his hat in the ring as an Independent. “As a citizen with social responsibility, I want to serve my area,” said Rao, who was seen mending a shoe at his roadside shop. His election symbol is TV.
Jana Sena state general secretary Bolisetty Satyanarayana said the margin between PK against Geetha in the election will be beyond imagination. “Apart from the swelling support from the locals, several NRIs and fans from all parts of Andhra have also joined the campaign. Those who are working abroad and have their voting rights in Pithapuram are also coming to their native place on May 13 to cast their ballots in favour of the Jana Sena chief,” Satyanarayana said.
While almost the entire Pawan Kalyan clan is campaigning in the constituency, YSRCP, on the other hand, has deployed its top-rung leadership. This includes YSRCP regional coordinator and Rajampet MP PV Midhun Reddy, Kakinada city MLA Dwarampudi Chandrasekhar Reddy, Pithapuram sitting MLA Pendem Dora Babu, Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham and minister Dadisetti Raja.
A part of the Telugu film industry seems to be rallying behind PK this time. In a video posted on social media Tuesday, superstar Chiranjeevi urged the public to support his younger brother in Pithapuram. Chiranjeevi’s son and ‘RRR’ star Ram Charan, along with actors Ghanta Nani, Raj Tarun, and Teja Saja, have also extended their support to their film industry colleague.


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