The longest ‘padayatra’ by any politician in the country, YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) President YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s walkathon of 3,648 km in 341 days, concluded today at Ichchapuram in Srikakulam district, near the Odisha border.
Jagan Reddy, who is popularly known as Jagan, embarked on the foot march on November 6, 2017, from his late father Dr Y S Rajashekara Reddy’s native village Idupalapaya in YSR Kadapa district, and walked 3,648 kms through 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh in 341 days. In doing so, he beat his father’s record of covering 1,500 km in two months, which swept him to power to in 2004 elections.
In 2012, N Chandrababu Naidu had embarked on a similar padayatra and covered nearly 2,000 kms in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
“Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Praja Sankalpa Yatra was as the longest padayatra by any politician in India. We think that it is a game changer in the coming elections. During this epic padayatra of 3,648 kms, Jagan interacted with over two crore people from various sections of the society. He has covered a lot of ground and it has translated into overwhelming support for Jagan and the party,” YSRCP National General Secretary V Vijay Sai Reddy said today.
Jagan’s late father Dr Y S Rajashekar Reddy, a senior Congress leader, had embarked on a ‘padayatra’ in April 2003 through several areas of undivided Andhra Pradesh to highlight the failures of the then TDP government which was headed by N Chandrababu Naidu.
YSRCP leaders today likened YSR’s padayatra with his son Jagan’s padayatra today and said that it would change the balance of power in AP in the coming elections.
“Jagan walked anywhere between 15 to 30 kms daily since November 2017. He shook hands and interacted with everyone he met along the way. Every Friday, he returned to Hyderabad to attend proceedings in the CBI court in the quid pro quo case,” said a party leader. During his last leg of the padayatra, Jagan suffered a bleeding cut when a restaurant attender at Visakhapatnam airport slashed him with a small knife used in bird fights on October 25.
Jagan addressed over 100 public meetings during the yatra in which he mostly spoke about the failures of the TDP regime and its failure to implement the farm loan waiver which Chandrababu Naidu promised ahead of 2014 elections; failure to fight for Special Category Status to AP; pending DWCRA loans and housing schemes.