Vastavam web: YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy Wednesday completed his over a year-long ‘paadayatra’ criss-crossing Andhra Pradesh, becoming the first politician to undertake a foot march of over 3,500 km in recent years. Jagan, as the YSRC chief is popularly called, unveiled a 91-feet pylon resembling the Eiffel Tower in Paris, with a dome at the top resembling the Parliament House, as he wound up the “Praja Sankalpa Paadayatra” at Itchapuram town in Srikakulam district, bordering Odisha.
The Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, Jagan had launched the walkathon on November 6, 2017 from his native village Idupulapaya in Kadapa district with the objective of dislodging the Chandrababu Naidu government. Apart from his weekly Friday break for court appearance in the disproportionate assets case trial, he had to put off his foot march for about a month following an “attempt to murder” on him at the Visakhapatnam airport lounge on October 25 when a man attacked him with a knife.
The main purposed of the yatra was to meet citizens at their doorstep and understand their problems and grievances and set the YSRC agenda for a better Andhra Pradesh, the party had announced at the beginning of the effort. Over the course of the paadayatra, he met over two crore people and engaged with various stakeholders like general public, media, party workers, influencers, NRIs, students, youth, women, senior citizens and farmers, the YSRC announced at the culmination of the yatra.
His father late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had undertaken a 1475-km foot march in 2003 to capture power in 2004 in the then united Andhra Pradesh. Telugu Desam president Naidu also adopted the same approach in 2012-13, covering over 2700-km and went on to return to power in 2014 (post-bifurcation). Interestingly, Jagans sister Sharmila, a YSRC leader, had also did a walkathon in 2012 for over 3100-km after he was arrested in the disproportionate assets case.