Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan sworn in as minister in Andhra Pradesh Cabinet


Actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan took oath as one of Andhra Pradesh’s cabinet ministers as the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu will hold the Chief Ministerial post.

Kalyan, the chief of the Janasena Party and one of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) members who fought the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections together, was elected the leader of the Legislative party on Tuesday.

TDP, Janasena Party, and Bharatiya Janata Party, as part of the NDA, achieved a huge win in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, securing 164 out of 175 seats. TDP won 135 seats, Janasena Party won 21, and BJP won 8.

As per reports, Kalyan is likely to be the deputy chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. In the recently concluded assembly elections, Kalyan was elected from the Pithapuram assembly constituency in the East Godavari district. The Janasena Party had a perfect record in the Andhra Pradesh elections, winning all 21 assembly seats and both Lok Sabha seats it contested.

Kalyan is a popular actor in the Telugu film industry. He’s the younger brother of K Chiranjeevi. He began his acting career with the movie “Akkada Ammayi Ikkada Abbayi” in 1996. Some of his notable films include “Tholi Prema,” “Gabbar Singh,” and “Attarintiki Daredi”. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in Telugu for his role in “Gabbar Singh”.

In 2014, he founded the Janasena Party. He was also the brand ambassador for Pepsi in 2001, making him the first South Indian to endorse the popular soft drink.

Kalyan started the Janasena Party in 2014, three years after his brother Chiranjeevi merged his party with the Congress. This disappointed the Kapu community, who hoped to gain power through Chiranjeevi’s popularity. Chiranjeevi later retired from politics when his party lost support.

Kalyan didn’t create much excitement among the community either. He didn’t run in the 2014 elections since his party was new and lacked organisation. Instead, he supported the TDP-BJP alliance, which won the state election.

Over the following five years, Kalyan didn’t focus on strengthening his party, while the YSRCP became a strong political force.

Kalyan became active just weeks before the 2019 assembly elections. He started criticising the TDP and also slammed the Modi government for not fulfilling promises like granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh.

For the 2019 elections, he formed alliances with Communist parties and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). However, in the end, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s party won a huge majority with 151 out of 175 assembly seats. The Janasena Party got only about 5% of the votes and one MLA, who later joined the YSRCP.

Soon after, Kalyan ended his partnership with the Left parties and BSP. Instead, he teamed up with the BJP, which was no longer influential in state politics.

Before the 2024 elections, realising that the TDP was gaining popularity, Kalyan joined forces with them to strengthen his own party. Chandrababu Naidu, too, needed the support of the Kapus and allied with Pawan Kalyan. However, Kalyan knew that by joining with the TDP and accepting only 21 assembly and two Lok Sabha seats in their agreement, the Kapus might feel let down.

Kalyan’s determination and wisdom paid off, leading his party to secure a spot in Naidu’s cabinet.

At the NDA meeting on June 7 at the Central Hall of the Old Parliament, while addressing the ally members, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Kalyan for his party’s performance in the Assembly polls.