YSR Congress president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy today completed his 14-month-long 'padayatra' criss-crossing Andhra Pradesh. During his 'Praja Sankalpa Paadayatra', he covered a distance of 3,648 km and met over two crore people. "In Padyatra we have not only toured the constituencies but also had meetings with the public. So we could hear their views," the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly said after concluding his foot march at Ichchapuram, Srikakulam.
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. According to reports, former poll strategist Prashant Kishor was behind this idea of 'padayatra'. This mass outreach programme was to conclude in six months but Jagan continued it in view of the elections.
Andhra Pradesh: YSRCP Chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Praja Sankalpa Yatra ended today at Ichchapuram, Srikakulam. He says, "In Padyatra we have not only toured the constituencies but also had meetings with the public. So we could hear their views." pic.twitter.com/4Bdux9FeEp— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2019
Apart from his weekly Friday break for a 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.
With this 'padayatra', Jagan hopes to repeat the feat of his father and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who undertook a similar foot march in 2013. Rajasekhara Reddy had undertaken a 1475-km foot to capture power in 2004 in the then united Andhra Pradesh. Interestingly, Jagan's sister Sharmila had also did a walkathon in 2012 for over 3100-km after he was arrested in the disproportionate assets case.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president Naidu too adopted the same approach in 2012-13. He covered over 2700-km and ultimately went on to return to power in 2014 (post-bifurcation).