The “Kavathu” (march) taken up by Jana Sena Party chief and power star Pawan Kalyan was no doubt the biggest show of strength by his party after its formation in 2014.
If not lakhs, as claimed by Pawan, thousands of people were mobilised to take part in the march across Dowleshwaram barrage on Godavari river.
The barrage was packed with crowds, mostly youth and the spill-over crowds had to walk in the river bed to reach the other side for the public meeting.
Setting aside his rhetoric and aggressive attack on Telugu Desam Party president and chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, his son Lokesh and their government in general, Pawan wanted to show that he could be a bigger threat to both TDP as well as YSR Congress party led by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and that he cannot be taken non-seriously.
More than anything else, Pawan’s move to walk on the Dowleshwaram barrage along with thousands of mobilised crowds appears to be mainly to neutralise the impact of Jaganmohan Reddy, who had led a much bigger rally from Kovvur to Rajamundry crossing the rail-cum-road bridge on the Godavari river in June this year.
In fact, the Rajahmundry bridge was much wider compared to Dowleshwaram barrage and it was packed with crowds. Apparently, Pawan wanted to show that he was more popular than Jagan or anybody else in the state and is a bigger crowd-puller than all of them.
But what Pawan has forgotten the fact that all those who attend the rallies and public meetings are not necessarily his voters.
Even TDP founder president N T Rama Rao, his widow Lakshmi Parvathi, Pawan’s own brother Chiranjeevi and even Jaganmohan Reddy had experienced this phenomenon.
Election results do not depend on the magnitude of turnout at the rallies and public meetings of a leader.
Pawan might be overwhelmed by the so-called response of the crowds to his Dowleshwaram rally and their “CM Pawan” slogans, but what matters ultimately is the people’s judgement and of course, last minute poll management.
If Pawan does not understand this, it is better he takes a lesson or two from his brother!