The Pawan Kalyan factor in AP politics

Last Updated 25 July 2019, 13:13 IST

Famous among his fans as "Aradugula Bullet", which translates to "six feet bullet", Konidela Pawan Kalyan is the third son of Venkat Rao and Anjana Devi, and hails from Mogalthuru in coastal Andhra Pradesh.

He is the younger brother of actor-turned-politician K Chiranjeevi, who launched Praja Rajyam Party and later merged it with the Congress.

Known for his volatile mood and penchant for guns and revolvers, Pawan worships Latin American revolutionary and politician Che Guevara.

Even before he launched the Jana Sena party with the 'red star' as its symbol on March 14, 2014, he floated the Common Man Protection Force (CMPF) in October 2007.

With it, he wanted to solve social problems and help the neglected sections of the society in India. The force was later substituted by the Praja Rajyam Party, which, however, failed miserably in the elections.

Pawan Kalyan married thrice, which is often a subject of ridicule in political circles. He was married to Nandini, whom he left for actress Renu Desai, with whom he had worked on the films Badri and Johnny. Renu has described him as a hyper and eccentric person.

The couple had a son Akira Nandan, named after Pawan's favourite director Akira Kurosawa.

Anna Lezhneva is Pawan's third wife. An actress from Russia, she and Pawan has two children, Mark Shankar Pawanovich and Polena Anjana Pawanova.

During the 2014 elections, he campaigned along with Narendra Modi and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu but stayed away from the contest himself.

Later, he said he was disillusioned by the pro-rich and caste-based politics of the TDP and left the alliance.

As his ideology works well with that of the Left, he has allocated 7 Assembly seats each to the CPI and the CPM, while giving 3 Lok Sabha seats and 21 Assembly seats for the BSP.

The Jana Sena, which started as a party with Pawan's face as a brand, later admitted former speaker Nadella Manohar and recently former CBI officer Lakshminarayana, who probed Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's wealth allegedly procured with illegal ways.


Influenced by revolutionary leaders and their thought, "Pawanism" hopes to usher in a new society where there is no religion or caste and or money power.

The ideology hopes to fight corruption in higher offices, including that of the chief minister. Pawan carefully chose his party members after a thorough filtering process, which includes oral and written tests. Candidates were picked up from over 3,000 applications.

Ironically, Pawan, even with his apparent dislike to caste, will be considered and cherished by lakhs of "kapus" in the state as their leader.

With many superhits in his hands, the youth icon is bound to make some dent in the Kapu heartlands of East and West Godavari districts of the state. His influence extends to parts of Rayalaseema and the Delta region, which have a sizeable Kapu community.

It is believed that Pawan Kalyan, despite his low-profile campaigns, will make a dent in the anti-incumbency vote favouring Naidu.

Pawan Kalyan, however, faces criticism from his opponents that he is still close to Chandrababu Naidu as he seldom attacks him during the public meetings.

The Kapu community also seems to have made peace with Naidu, who recently made peace with them by allocating 5% quota to Kapus from 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections.

(Published 18 March 2019, 14:16 IST)

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