Hyderabad: The Jana Sena Party, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, agreed to form an electoral alliance in Andhra Pradesh on Friday. The decision was taken after leaders from all three parties met at a round table to discuss various issues at Vishakhapatnam. The CPI, which expressed its willingness for the same in Telangana, asked for more time to decide on the alliance in Telangana (JSP and CPM have formalised the alliance there too).

JSP leader and actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan, who addressed a press conference after the meeting on Friday, resolved to “fight strongly" to achieve special category status (SCS) for Andhra Pradesh in the upcoming assembly (in AP) and Lok Sabha elections. The leaders felt that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre and its allies “deceived the people of Andhra Pradesh" in implementing the AP State Reorganisation Act (2014).

At the round table meeting, it was also decided between the three parties to take up various issues regarding mining, land acquisition and environment in the state. A statement from the JSP after the meeting also said that “the rising intolerance towards freedom of expression was a matter of grave concern", and added that the government must protect women, Dalits, LGBTQ and differently-abled communities.

While the CPI and CPM are small players in AP, Kalyan’s political inclination in the upcoming assembly polls might play a crucial role in some parts of the state, as he is believed to have an influence over the Kapu community, which is numerically strong in East and West Godavari districts of AP (where the TDP won majorly). In the 2014 elections, Kalyan did not contest elections, but supported the Telugu Desam Party and BJP’s pre-poll alliance (which broke in March 2018).

However, last year, Kalyan surprised everyone when he began censuring TDP supremo and AP chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu during a public meeting, following which it was understood that JSP no longer supported the TDP. Recently, the JSP chief also criticised Opposition leader and YSR Congress Party head Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy over charges or corruption.

The TDP, which had announced a pre-poll alliance with the Congress in the 2018 December Telangana polls, have decided not to go with the grand old party since the experiment failed badly, with the TDP winning just two of the 119 seats. The Congress earlier this week also announced that it will contest the state and Lok Sabha polls alone in Andhra Pradesh.

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