10-08-201910-08-2019 16:50:14 IST
Updated On 10-08-2019 17:08:36 ISTUpdated On 10-08-20192019-08-10T11:20:14.574Z10-08-2019 2019-08-10T11:20:09.113Z - 2019-08-10T11:38:36.403Z - 10-08-2019
For those wondering why super cop-turned-politician V V Lakshminarayana is conspicuous by his absence at Janasena these days, here is some dope. Fresh speculation is rife that the former joint director of CBI will be shifting his political loyalties to the Bharatiya Janata Party very soon.
Though the news is still in the realm of speculation with Lakshminarayana choosing to keep all his cards close to his chest, this is being talked about as the reason for his staying away from the activities of Pawan Kalyan’s party. The last time he was seen hobnobbing with Pawan Kalyan and other Janasena leaders was during the party’s review meetings in the immediate aftermath of Janasena’s humiliating defeat in the May Assembly and general elections.
The ongoing speculation also does not specify if it was the BJP that reached out to the former IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre or he himself made the overtures to the saffron party. Similarly, no timeline is also being discussed for his rumoured prospect of jumping over to the BJP. The news assumes significance especially from the perspective of the BJP which is on an aggressive mission to attract every leader worth his name in both the Telugu states.
Efforts by this writer to reach out to Lakshminarayana over phone remained unsuccessful. After initially coming into contact in the morning and promising to speak later in the day, he remained inaccessible subsequently.
The former CBI sleuth’s moves in the next couple of weeks will decide whether he is acting in line with these speculations or otherwise. But the latest speculation certainly reflects the prevailing mood among a majority of Janasena leaders who are believed to be seriously assessing their future in the party.
Despite Pawan Kalyan putting up a brave front after the electoral flop-show, a few leaders including Ravela Kishore Babu deserted the rocking boat in their quest for better political options. Even among those still with the party, there are many who are unsure of how Pawan Kalyan would be steering the party out of the crisis and build it into a formidable force in the next five years.
Adding to these apprehensions were fresh rumours flying thick and fast that Janasena might eventually be merged into the BJP. The rumours say that it’s only a matter of time before the beleaguered Power Star of Tollywood would emulate his Megastar-elder brother Chiranjeevi who, faced with a similar predicament, merged his Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) into the Congress in 2011.
Sensing the danger, Pawan Kalyan sought to stem further damage from these distressing speculations, by asserting very recently that “he would not merge Janasena even if it means losing his life.” If Lakshminarayana eventually leaves the party as speculated, then it would be a tough task for Pawan Kalyan to restrain other fence-sitters from following suit.
It was not the first time Lakshminarayana grabbed the attention with his speculated political leanings. After taking voluntary retirement from service in 2018, he extensively toured across Andhra Pradesh to study the plight of farmers and issues concerning them. This triggered the buzz on his political ambitions for the first time, suggesting he may launch his own party.
But after the talk died down, the retired cop made everyone sit up with his interactions with the RSS. This was when he was seriously thought to be making his political debut with the BJP. It did not materialize for some reason but since then he kept everyone guessing on his political plans for a long time.
A few months before the Assembly elections, Lakshminarayana was suddenly in news following his meeting with TDP president and then chief minister of AP Chandrababu Naidu. It was extensively reported then that the former IPS officer was all set to join the TDP.
But with the YSRCP raising a hue and cry alleging that Lakshminarayana’s nexus with Chandrababu Naidu was finally coming to the fore, this plan came a cropper. As the CBI joint director in-charge of then unified Andhra Pradesh, Lakshminarayana was instrumental in the agency filing 11 chargesheets against YS Jaganmohan Reddy and several others in the disproportionate assets case and their subsequent arrest in the case in 2012.
Ending a prolonged suspense, Lakshminarayana finally joined Pawan Kalyan’s Janasena in March 2019 before contesting as the party’s Lok Sabha candidate from Visakhapatnam. Along with party chief Pawan Kalyan and several others, Lakshminarayana too tasted defeat as the people gave a massive mandate to Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSRCP.
-Durga Prasad Kanamaluru
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