On July 8 last year, during the YSRCP Plenary, party supremo YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced his decision to embark on a walkathon to reach out to those suffering under the TDP regime in Andhra Pradesh.
Following in the footsteps of his late father Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy, YS Jagan started his mass outreach programme, Praja Sankalpa Yatra on November 6 from Idupalapaya after paying tributes to his late father Dr YSR. Since then, there has been no looking back. Braving harsh weather conditions—unseasonal rains and sizzling summer heat, YS Jagan has been striding ahead, literally and figuratively, stopping only to interact with people, listen to them and reassure them of rendering justice to them. Not for nothing do people reach out to him from far-off villages and towns or line the streets where his Padayatra has been moving. For, they know that they can share their problems hoping for a fair and just resolution.
The YSRCP chief's Padayatra will cover a distance of 3000 kms and will be the longest walk undertaken by any politician in the two Telugu states. The Praja Sankalpa Yatra will conclude at Ichchapuram in Srikakulam. Even as YS Jagan's padayatra reaches the 2000 kilometre milestone, the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh is feeling the heat.
All along, the Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly has received a warm welcome, with thousands of people pouring out spontaneously into the streets. All through his Padayatra, YS Jagan has been highlighting problems plaguing the state under Chandrababu. Pinpointing the problems that have been wreaking havoc with the lives of farmers and adding to their misery, the YSRCP chief has been questioning the government on its failed promises made at the time of elections. And four years after coming to power, Chandrababu has a daunting task ahead in taking up poll promises now when he has to woo voters for the next elections. After all, these four years have seen a series of U-turns and betrayals by him.
For YS Jagan, his mass outreach programme is a mission. In all the districts of Andhra Pradesh that he has covered so far, he has been witness to the apathy of the government. Betrayal of loan waiver promise to farmers, acute water shortage, ubiquitous corruption, contaminated water, sand mafia, land grabbing, dilution of YSR's flagship healthcare policy Arogyasri, unemployment, students deprived of fee reimbursement, denial of pensions to senior citizens, overflowing liquor ruining families, no minimum support price for farmers' produce—these are only few of the plethora of problems that the people of Andhra Pradesh face on a day-to-day basis. The public is understandably vexed with the TDP regime over its indifference towards their sorry plight.
While Chandrababu is busy selling the dream of building a world class capital city in Amaravati, the Leader of Opposition in AP Legislative Assembly has decided to understand the problems of the people on a first-hand basis and gain an insight into their lives. The scorching summer heat has done little to deter his resolve to work for the upliftment of people. This is one reason why the masses see him as one of their own—a messiah who will put an end to all their problems.
The Praja Sankalpa Yatra hits another milestone today in Venkatapuram of West Godavari. Covering a distance of 2000 kilometres on foot is no mean feat. This is enough to show YS Jagan's determination to ensure better lives for people. And as he crosses this milestone, he carries with him the good wishes of those with whom he interacted, blessings of the elders and the undying support of his partymen.