Desperate to return to power, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu has decided to take a leaf out of the book of his nemesis, the late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. He will undertake a padayatra across the length and breadth of the state, covering 2,320 km. Chandrababu Naidu, a much-travelled man already, announced his plan at a meeting of TDP village in-charges at the party office Friday. The schedule for the walkathon: Oct 2 to Jan 26, a total of 117 days.
The former chief minister plans to interact with farmers, students and women and learn first hand their travails under the Congress dispensation. According to TDP leaders, this is an opportune time for the padayatra. “He has already promised 100 party tickets for backward classes. he has made it clear he supports categorisation of SCs. What’s left for him to do is to reveal his mind on the Telangana issue. So this is a good time to go to the people,” one leader said.
Party leaders, however, are a bit touchy about any comparisons with YSR’s game changer padayatra in 2003. “YSR’s yatra took advantage of the drought that was raging then. Naidu’s yatra is entirely different.He is doing it at a time when the government is rundown and several problems are staring it in the face such as corruption, lack of adequate power supply which is leading to industries closing shop and throwing people out of work,” former MP Gadde Ramamohan told Express. Apart from being longer in terms of distance and time, Naidu’s padayatra will take him to all the districts of the state unlike the YSR walk, which was a dash through the heart of Andhra Pradesh.
According to sources, Naidu is understood to be of the opinion that he would be able to retrieve lost ground in Telangana to TRS and to YS Jagan in Andhra and Rayalaseema.