Hyderabad: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday launched a 117-day padayatra (foot march).
The Leader of Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly is expected to cover over 2,000 kms in 117 days covering about 13 out of 23 districts of the state in the first round of `Vastunna...mee kosam` (I am coming....for you) yatra.
On Tuesday, Naidu, 63, formally kicked off his padayatra from Hindupur in Anantapur district. He walked about eight kilometres on day one.
In an attempt to regain the lost glory of TDP founded by his father-in-law NT Rama Rao on the plank of Telugu pride, Naidu has set out the padayatra. The party, which has remained out of power ever since Y S Rajasekhara Reddy brought the Congress party back in power in the state, is expecting a magic of sorts in 2014 elections. Naidu’s yatra would cover most of Andhra Pradesh particularly those areas where TDP is keen on improving its vote share.
During these 117 days, Naidu would trek 2,340 km covering 13 districts, including those in Telangana, Rayalaseema, coastal Andhra and North Andhra.
It was the same yatra of almost the same distance taken up by YSR in 2003 that had ensured Naidu’s defeat the next year. Apart from garnering sympathy for touring the state on foot, the opportunity to personally interact with people en route had ensured YSR’s victory in 2004 elections. Losing power after being the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh for about nine years, Naidu has been scouting for a strategy that would unseat the Congress again.
“The padayatra is not for politics or election. The party needs to reach the people to tell them how the ruling Congress has been indulging in scams, and also explain to them how the TDP rule was different,” Naidu had said before leaving Hyderabad.
(With DNA inputs)