Political leaders in AP embark on "yatras" for mass contact

Last Updated 12 October 2012, 12:55 IST

 It's 'yatra' season in Andhra Pradesh with political leaders of different parties taking to streets to reconnect with people in the run-up to the elections due in 2014.

Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu launched a 117-day 'padyatra' (foot march) on October 2 to steal a march over his political rivals and has been going around villages beginning with Anantapur district.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is also touring the state on an official mission as part of his "path-breaking" mass contact 'Indiramma Baata' essentially to build an image for himself.

Now, YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's sister Sharmila Anil will also be embarking on a foot march from October 18 to keep the YSR Congress flag flying.
The YSRC says Sharmila's padyatra will be an encore of her (late) father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's 1700-km "Praja Prasthanam" walkathon way back in 2003 that helped him ride to power in the state.

Sharmila, who so far used to accompany her husband evangelist Anil Kumar on religious trips, will now be undertaking a political campaign on behalf of her brother Jagan who has been languishing in jail (in the disproportionate assets case).

Touted as YSRC's "trump card", she is expected to pass on the baton to Jagan midway through the 3,000 km yatra if he is released from jail on bail.

For Chandrababu Naidu, both the Congress government and Jagan are the main targets while the Chief Minister has been training his guns only on the TDP chief.

The YSRC, according to its honorary president Y S Vijayamma, will target the state government for watering down the welfare and development schemes launched by her late husband.

(Published 12 October 2012, 12:55 IST)

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