Jagan Reddy concludes ‘padayatra’ across Andhra Pradesh
Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy ended his Praja Sankalpa Yatra at Ichapuram in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh
Hyderabad: YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy completed his 3,648-km “padayatra” on Wednesday, 14 months after he began the journey across Andhra Pradesh.
Reddy, who started his “Praja Sankalpa Yatra” on 6 November 2017, covered more than 130 out of the 175 assembly constituencies in the state. He held 124 public meetings and 55 community meetings during his 341-day walkathon.
The YSRCP chief, who marked the end of the walkathon with a massive public meeting at Ichapuram in Srikakulam district, hopes to come to power in the 2019 assembly elections and is banking on his long walk to help him. This had worked well for his father, late Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who defeated Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu in 2004 after undertaking a similar walkathon.
Jagan Mohan Reddy launched a salvo against Naidu on Wednesday, accusing him of betraying the people of the state and looking after only “his coterie”. The YSRCP chief, who promised good governance in Andhra Pradesh if he came to power, said that the districts in the state should be increased from the 13 at present to 25 for more transparent functioning.
“Chandrababu Naidu has ditched people in the last four and a half years and has been changing his stance frequently. He was never bothered about the people,” said Reddy at the Ichapuram meeting.
Reddy also attacked Naidu for “moving from one camp to the other without any scruples”, referring to the TDP, which had exited the National Democratic Alliance in March last year, joining hands with the Congress recently to form an anti-Bharatiya Janata Party platform. “He is looking at the national canvas. Naidu shamelessly went to Telangana to say that turncoats should be voted out, while in his own state he bought 23 MLAs and included them into his cabinet,” he said.
Reddy also alleged that corruption “is rampant” in Andhra Pradesh and that people don’t believe in Naidu anymore.
The YSRCP chief promised to usher in a better government and said that agriculture, education, health, and small industries, as well as other sectors, have been neglected under the current TDP government. “Naidu’s 650-odd promises were totally left out. There has to be a sweeping change in the system and it can happen only when cheats and people who don’t keep their words are rejected,” he said.
Five members of Parliament of the YSRCP resigned from the Lok Sabha while Reddy was on his walkathon, in protest against Andhra Pradesh not being accorded special category status. The YSRCP had made this a bone of contention, forcing the TDP to also demand special category status for the state.
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