Telangana to see “padyatra” competition from opposition leaders
Hyderabad: There are still more than two years left for the Assembly elections in Telangana, but the leaders of the opposition parties are preparing to undertake “padyatras” or marches to mobilize the support of the population to confront the Telangana Rashtra Samithi ( TRS) in power.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Bandi Sanjay will be the first opposition leader to embark on the march. Trying to project the BJP as a viable alternative to TRS, he will launch the “padyatra” from Hyderabad on August 9th.
The Karimnagar MP plans to cover a distance of 750 km before completing the ‘padyatra’ on October 2 in the assembly constituency of Huzurabad, which is to be surveyed.
The newly appointed chairman of the Congressional Telangana unit, A. Revanth Reddy, is also considering undertaking a “padyatra”. The leader, who seeks to revive the fortunes of the party in his former stronghold, will announce the details of his march after obtaining the assent of the central leadership of the party.
YS Sharmila, the latest in Telangana politics, also plans to launch a “padyatra” in 100 days. The daughter of the late Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh undivided YS Rajasekhara Reddy, hopes to recreate the magic of her father, who had launched the tradition of “padyatras” into state politics.
The starting point of Bandi Sanjay’s “padyatra” will be the Bhagya Lakshmi temple adjacent to the historic Charminar. Political analysts say the choice of temple is another attempt by the BJP to highlight its saffron agenda while trying to expose alleged failures of the TRS government.
The controversial temple adjoining the historic Charminar in the communally-sensitive Old Town was the focal point of the BJP’s aggressive campaign in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls late last year. It was from this temple that the BJP launched its polling campaign. Union Home Secretary Amit Shah also visited the temple as he campaigned for the party in GHMC polls.
The BJP campaign involving several central leaders paid the party rich dividends as it put in an impressive performance to improve its count in the GHMC from 150 members to 48 from just four seats it won in the polls from 2016.
This helped the BJP deny TRS a clear majority and become the second largest party, a position previously enjoyed by its big rival All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
The dates of ‘padyatra’ were also chosen with a clear strategy. It begins on August 9, the anniversary of the Quit India movement, and ends on October 2, the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.
“Our fight is to ensure a democratic Telangana,” said Sanjay who alleged that KCR is running Telangana like a dictator. He plans more marathons in the run-up to the 2023 elections.
Under Sanjay, a fiery speaker, BJP has already had some success. The Saffron Party dealt a heavy blow to the TRS by winning the Dubbak Assembly seat in the by-elections, followed by an impressive show in the GHMC polls. The Saffron Party’s victory march was recently interrupted by the TRS which won a seat in the Legislative Council and retained the seat of the Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly. Sanjay through his “padyatra” will try to convey the message that only BJP can provide an alternative to TRS.
Revanth Reddy, whose appointment as the Telangana Pradesh Congressional Committee (TPCC), has instilled new enthusiasm among congressional officials eager to take the TRS head-on. He decided to undertake a “padyatra” to start building on the perceived opposition to power.
A harsh critic of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao and his family, Revanth is likely to do everything to take advantage of the support he enjoys among the people, especially the young. However, taking into account the groupism and internal differences within the party, he advances cautiously by not announcing the dates of “padyatra”. “I can’t make the decision on my own. It must be a collective decision, ”he said recently.
Revanth Reddy is keen to bring everyone considering his past experience. He had undertaken a 10-day “padyatra” in February this year opposing the new agricultural laws in the Center.
After addressing a farmers’ rally in Nagarkurnool district on February 7, the MP from Malkajgiri launched “Rythu Bharosa Yatra” on a whim. Encouraged by the public response, he continued to walk. After traveling a distance of 130 km, he addressed a public meeting in Tukkuguda near Hyderabad.
However, as Revanth Reddy did not get permission from the party leadership, most of the leaders skipped the meeting under the leadership of then-TPCC chairman Uttam Kumar Reddy.
Revanth Reddy will likely use the “padyatra” to consolidate his position within the party, as some sections of the party are still unhappy with his appointment ignoring several top leaders. Analysts say he will also use the “padyatra” to improve his image as a leader who can take on KCR.
Reeling from defeat in two successive assembly elections and a string of defections, the Congress party desperately needs a program like “Padyatra” to show that it is still a force with which it can. must be reckoned with. By running two huge protest programs against rising fuel prices in the past week, Revanth Reddy has already shown that the party can count on him to rebuild the organization.
Telangana will also witness a “padyatra” from Sharmila which launched the YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) on July 8th. She vowed to bring “Rajanna Rajyam” back to Telangana.
“Rajanna Rajyam” refers to the rule of welfare of her late father. Popularly known as YSR, it has implemented several pro-poor programs in unified Andhra Pradesh.
The YSR family is known to undertake “padyatras” and succeed in seizing power. In fact, it was YSR who started the tradition of ‘padyatras’ in 2003. By covering a distance of 1470 km through 11 districts in two months, he succeeded in bringing to light the problems of the people, especially the people. farmers’ problems.
The famous “padyatra” catapulted Congress to power after a 10-year hiatus, ending the reign of N. Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party. It also helped YSR establish itself as a mass leader.
Since then, politicians, including YSR’s rivals, have followed in his footsteps. In fact, after YSR’s death in a helicopter crash on September 2, 2009, his son YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched “Odarpu yatra” to console the families of those who died in shock from YSR’s death. The congressional leadership had asked him to stop the march-a-thon, as it was seen as a move to build public sympathy for claiming the post of chief minister.
Chandrababu Naidu also undertook a “padyatra” ahead of the 2014 elections and led the TDP to form the first government of Andhra Pradesh after the bifurcation.
It was Jagan who made history with the longest “padyatra” in 2018-19 to lead his YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) to a landslide victory in Andhra Pradesh.
Jagan traveled 3,648 km, crossing 134 of 175 Assembly ridings.
His sister Sharmila is now preparing to embark on the “padyatra” in Telangana. She plans to start the Chevella walkethon in Rangareddy district, from where YSR started their 2003 “padyatra”. Later, he started all major government and party programs from the same location, as he considered him. as auspicious.
Sharmila believes that YSR lives in the hearts of the Telangana people and is confident to win their support to bring back “Rajanna Rajyam”.
However, this will not be his first political walkathon. When Jagan was in prison over a disproportionate assets case in 2012-13, she undertook a “padyatra” to build public support for her. She had traveled 3,112 km through Andhra Pradesh, then undivided.
By undertaking the “padyatra” in her new political avatar, she hopes to repeat what her father and brother have achieved.