The defeat in 2019 Assembly election has not robbed Janasena leader Pawan Kalyan of his crowd-pulling magic. It is now proven beyond doubt in Vizag, where he led a long march on Sunday to demand the resolution of the unprecedented sand crisis of Andhra Pradesh in two weeks.
His voice at the rally was equally robust as it used to be before the elections. He issued an ultimatum to chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. Is he a proverbial man destroyed not defeated?
Dismissing this as inconsequential by targeting his personal life or calling him the agent of some other party would cut no ice.
This type of intemperate remarks only vindicates that the crowds of Janasena unsettle the ruling party.
In the era of politics of convenience, any party can join any other party; some parties form alliances while others conceal them.
It is also clear from the Vizag Long March that the movie star turned politician is not ready to lie low depressed following the total rout the Janasena faced in the election.
True, the defeat is so humiliating that the electorate rejected the man in the constituencies, Gajuwaka and Bhimavaram, he contested from.
One needs an iron will and unwavering optimism about the future to recover from the shocking electoral setback.
In fact, after 2014 defeat, these were the qualities that drove Jaganmohan Reddy to take on mighty Chandrababu Naidu, the then chief minister, who really wanted to finish the former's YSRC by encouraging defections. In 2019 Chandrababu's TDP bit dust and Jagan bounced back.
At a time when the opposition voice is weakest ever in Assembly, leaders like Pawan Kalyan with huge following help bridle the 'winner-takes-all mentality' of ruling parties, that commands a brute majority in the House.
Electoral politics in India is dangerously drifting towards the winner-takes-all system. The benefits of winning an election have become so large that political parties stoop to any low to clinch a victory and to ensure that there is no opposition in the House.
Political power gives ownership rights to the ruling party over state resources. The party in power can sell, lease out, mortgage, and donate the resources at will. The ruling party can also make, amend, scrap, violate, and ignore the statute.
Defections are encouraged in the House to weaken the democratic opposition while repressive measures unleashed outside the House to scuttle the rise of other democratic forces.
The winner-takes-all attitude of ruling parties undermines democracy. Unfortunately, this attitude has become an integral part of democracies across the world and India is no exception.
The chief ministers, who won the election with a huge majority, are more susceptible to develop winner-takes-all tendencies. The symptom is they don't tolerate any dissent or protest by any mass organization just because either they are defeated in elections or they have no presence in the legislature.
Seen against this backdrop, Pawan Kalyan's Vizag Long March is a welcome development.
Pawan Kalyan's Janasena is better positioned than opposition Telugu Desam Party in opposing the anti-people and undemocratic decision of ruling YSR Congress.
There is ample scope for the revival of Janasena with an aggressive campaign to safeguard the interests of the people. Because the state is bound to witness an intense fight between the YSRC and TDP as Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy is hell-bent on taking revenge on Chandrababu for his pro-defection politics between 2104 and 2019.
JanaSena Review Meeting, Visakhapatnam District.Video Link: https://t.co/SMQ9D5kMAWFull Album:https://t.co/OhL51AONxC pic.twitter.com/KzMwXQVZR6— JanaSena Party (@JanaSenaParty) November 4, 2019
JanaSena Review Meeting, Visakhapatnam District.Video Link: https://t.co/SMQ9D5kMAWFull Album:https://t.co/OhL51AONxC pic.twitter.com/KzMwXQVZR6
The ruling YSRC has embarked on a mission of undoing many controversial programs initiated by the previous TDP government, and he won't dilute his stand vis-à-vis Chandrababu Naidu. This will make the situation in AP conducive for Pawan, if he proves that he is not merely a kapu leader, to revive Janasena, and it will work as an effective democratic check on Jagan.