Eluru East: Walking in my father's footsteps, I began my Padayatra with thousands of people walking alongside me and without any fatigue, even before I realized it, Praja Sankalpa Yatra has touched the important milestone of 2000 km. Before I set out this morning, I was blessed by religious leaders of all faiths.May 14 has a special significance for all of us, because the anti-people party of the day was overthrown and a golden epoch ushered in. It was on this day 14 years ago that welfare governance was redefined by my father, the late Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy. He took his oath as Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh on May 14 as the 14th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
My father's Praja Prasthanam, my sister Sharmila's Maro Praja Prasthanam and my Praja Sankalpa Yatra have an emotional connect with West Godavari district. What is of particular significance is that my father, my sister and I—all reached this district on May 14. Interestingly, my sister Sharmila reached the landmark of 2000 kms in this very district. It's God's will that my father's public meeting was held here in 2003 on this day and his swearing in too happened on the same day following year.During the course of my padayatra today, Ashok Kumar, a young man came to me carrying his child, along with his wife. "Anna, this government is acting very vengefully against us because I welcomed you and took part in your padayatra. They have snatched away my shares in the fisherman's society and have even removed workers. I was overwhelmec by his statement that he would stand by me regardless of the obstacles which came his way and was even prepared to scarifice his life for me. The diabolical machinations of the TDP leaders in trying to keep a vice-like grip on the people of the Kolleru region by shackling their freedom in this manner is deplorable indeed.
As for Chandrababu, instead of curbing the atrocities being perpetrated on the poor and the innocent masses by his MLAs, he seems to be encouraging them and ranking them for their performance! Members of the washermen community met me this afternoon and among them was Gajavelli Chennarao who had scaled Mount Everest.He belonged to a poor washerman's family. He had lost his father and his mom eeked out a living as a daily wage labourer. He said: "Anna, I believed in Chandrababu's promise that I would get a job if he is elected, (Job kavalante, Babu ravali). It is with belief that I completed BCom and also pursued a course in Physical Education. Last year, I represented the state and scaled Mount Everest. The chief minister congratulated and promised to give me a Rs 10 lakh award and a job. To my dismay, there is no word from him on his assurance. I did not get the promised amount of Rs 10 lakh either. Driven my sheer necessity, I have gone back to my traditional occupation," he said with great regret.
I have a question for the chief minister—You had promised a cash award of Rs 10 lakhs and priority in employment to a BC lad in recognition of his valour in scaling the Everest. Doesn't going back on your words amount to plain betrayal? You take credit for all the achievements of any Telugu regardless of individual talent and merit. You promise gifts, awards and jobs and accord a lot of publicity to your promises which never see the light of day. Is this not deception?