In the Hyderabadi heat, the vibe was Antarctic-like on the stage that was shared by Chandrababu Naidu and Pawan Kalyan, the star who launched his own party ahead of this election and pledged his support for the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
Mr. Naidu, chief of the regional Telugu Desam Party, found no mention in the speech given by Mr. Kalyan at yesterday’s rally which was attended by both leaders and Mr. Modi. Mr. Kalyan professed that his “Jana Sena Party is in fact a Modi sena.”
Today, there was an attempt to course correct. Mr. Naidu, 64, visited Mr. Kalyan, Telugu cinema’s top star, at his home, delivering the desired result. The actor declared that his Jana Sena Party will throw its weight not just behind Mr. Modi, but the coalition led by the BJP, of which Mr. Naidu is an important member.
Mr. Kalyan’s party is not contesting any seat in this election but he has a massive fan base and is a popular youth icon in both Telangana and Seemandhra, granting him VIP treatment from far more seasoned politicians.
Mr. Kalyan was reportedly upset that a close friend of his, industrialist Potluri Vara Prasad, had not been selected as a candidate for the parliamentary election by Mr. Naidu. There has been speculation that PVP helped fund Mr. Kalyan’s political party.