YS Jagan’s Padayatra Nearing Finish Line

YS Jagan Mohan Reddy - Sakshi Post

By Reshmi AR

More than a year after Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and YSR Congress Party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy set out from Idupulapaya in Dr YSR Kadapa district, to reach out to the people in person through his Praja Sankalpa Yatra, much water has flown down the bridge. The crowds swelled everywhere with each passing day, more and more people flocked to his public meetings, rallies and joined him on his padayatra in every town, village and district of the state. As the historic padayatra of the YSRCP chief enters its final phase in Srikakulam district, it is obvious that AP stands poised on the cusp of a Golden Era which beckons it.

The ruling Telugu Desam Party appeared rattled from the very beginning but became increasingly unnerved as the padayatra gained in strength and popularity in villages across Andhra Pradesh. Into every village that YS Jagan stepped into, people welcomed him and saw in him an image of his father, late Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy who in their minds is synonymous with welfare governance. Every village and town in the state he stepped into wore a festive air, as people thronged to catch a glimpse of the leader or interact with him, and at other times attend his public meetings. The complaints people poured out to him were universally the same—absence of proper healthcare facilities, fee reimbursement scheme being denied, farmers fields drying up due to lack of water for irrigation, widow and old-age pensions being denied, widespread joblessness and a host of other such problems which plague Andhra Pradesh irrespective of district or region. YS Jagan has all along, lent a patient ear and has promised better days under Rajanna Rajyam which would be based on people's manifesto or Navarathnalu.

Also Read: Navarathnalu what's in it for you?

The YSRCP chief highlighted the failures of the TDP government in every public meeting and interaction with groups of people everywhere. He referred to the land scams across the state beginning with Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and other parts of AP and also pointed out the rampant corruption in irrigation projects like Polavaram, Pattiseema, Handri Neeva and other projects. Whenever he referred to these aspects of governance which have now become synonymous with the Chandrababu administration, people roared affirmatively as they did when he highlighted the role of Janmabhoomi Committees in villages which struck a blow to the very idea of grassroots democracy.

The YSRCP chief also pointed out the discrimination shown by the TDP government towards people it believed to be supporters of the Opposition. He reminded people of the state everywhere of the corrupt ways of Chandrababu who pretends to be a holier-than-thou savior of democracy, by highlighting the horse-trading of 23 YSRCP MLAs, four of whom have been made ministers, without the anti-defection law being applied to them by the Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly. The reception which YS Jagan received from people of the state everywhere was truly breathtaking, but in the Godavari districts in particular, it was truly awe-inspiring. The sight of YS Jagan on the rail-cum-road bridge in Rajahmundry was a historic moment in the annals of Andhra Pradesh.

Sea of humanity follows the people’s leader on rail-cum-road bridge over River Godavari.

As the mass leader marched on evoking overwhelming response from all segments of society, the TDP leadership appeared to get jittery. While the YSRCP kept growing in strength and stature, the TDP seemed to be shrinking in terms of its political reach and appeal, despite huge amounts being spent on publicity and Chandrababu being propped up by his favourite media outlets as the most visionary leader the state has ever had.

In spite of their tall talk, the TDP top brass was not unaware of ground reality. The changing political landscape altered totally in favour of YSRCP and by the time the Praja Sankalpa Yatra reached Visakhapatnam district, things had come to a head. On October 25 while YS Jagan was waiting to board a Hyderabad-bound flight in the VIP lounge of the Visakhapatnam airport, he was suddenly attacked by a restaurant staffer, who sought a selfie with him. Even as the YSRCP chief paused to oblige him, he lunged at him with a highly sharp knife used in cock-fights aiming at his neck. The YSRCP chief had a providential escape as he instinctively turned away, but in the process suffered a serious shoulder injury which required nine sutures later. The reactions to this murder attempt on the AP Leader of Opposition from both the chief minister and DGP of the state showed the abysmal depths to which politics had plunged in AP under Chandrababu Naidu.

The DGP came out with a statement within an hour of the attack claiming that the attacker was a YSRCP follower and a fan of YS Jagan. What the DGP could not explain among several other unanswered questions underlying this conspiracy, is why a fan who never approached the mass leader over the last couple of months that he had been travelling in and out of Vizag airport would lunge at him with a knife at the very first opportunity. The drama which the police and the TDP government played with a doctored flexi was even more revolting to say the least. Quite clearly, the reaction of the top TDP leaders and police officials showed that the investigation was progressing towards a cul-de-sac. It is against such insurmountable odds that YS Jagan has stood tall, blessed as he has been by the people of the state to reiterate his words. He has crossed every obstacle which the government has tried to put in his path, brushed every hurdle out of the way and has moved on to be amidst the masses, again.

As the padayatra approaches its last lap, the writing on the wall is clear—YS Jagan has emerged a taller political figure with renewed vigour and conviction to serve the people of the state. Little did his vile political opponents realise that the mass leader's goodwill, like the quality of mercy, is twice blessed, to recall Shakespeare's famous phrase.

Also Read: Why Are You Scared If You Really Served People, Chandrababu?

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