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YS Jagan outdoes dad as he ends record padayatra

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Vijayawada: When YSRC chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy completes his Praja Sankalpa Yatra at Ichapuram in Srikakulam on Wednesday, he would have set a record with the longest walk by a politician in the Telugu states.

Earlier, his father Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy and sister Y.S. Sharmila and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu undertook similar padayatras. Dr Rajasekhar Reddy and Mr Naidu went on to become Chief Ministers after their padayatra.

Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy will unveil a pylon and address a massive meeting with party workers and leaders at Ichapuram to mark the occasion.

He was stabbed in the arm at the Vizag airport while he was on his weekly break to attend court.

The YSRC president started the padayatra on November 6, 2017, from his family estate of Idupulapaya in Kadapa. Though the yatra was scheduled for 180 days, he decided to extended on the back of the enthusiastic response. He covered 13-15 km a day. The total distance travelled by him 3,648 km.

Over 341 days, he has covered 2,516 villages, addressed 124 public meetings and 55 community meetings.

He also had 42 meetings with select groups which included fisherman, auto drivers, teachers, Nayee Brah-mins, weavers, goldsmiths, anganwadi teachers, advocates, ambulance employees, government employees and unemployed youth.

By the time he ends the yatra, Mr Reddy would have interacted with more than two crore people, which is close to 40 per cent of the total population of the state

The padayatra was undertaken with the slogan Raavali Jagan, Kaavali Jagan (Jagan should come, we want Jagan), aimed at catapulting him to power in the Assembly elections.

Mr Reddy, who completed the first 1,000 kms of his Praja Sankalpa Yatra has made the issue of Special Category Status to Andhra, the key theme on January 29 in Nellore district.

“Jagan has been moving forward while listening to peoples’ woes and instilling hope in them. Despite several issues and hiccups, he remained among the public unperturbed. I am proud to say that Y.S. Jagan’s padayatra continued while keeping hope intact among people. As a last resort, they indulged in a murder attempt on my son. By god’s grace, Jagan survived this,” said Y.S. Vijayamma, Mr Reddy’s mother.  

The Praja Sankalpa Yatra has changed the equations of the YSRC and Mr Reddy has the image of a leader close to people. Many well-known personalities and bureaucrats joined the YSRC during his padayatra especially in Guntur, Krishna, West Godavari, East Godavari, Vishakhapatnam and Vizianagaram. “The people of AP are looking for a change and it is only a matter of time before their leader brings justice to them through Rajanna Rajyam and sets Andhra Pradesh on the path of progress,” said state Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Buggana Rajendranath Reddy.

The padayatra has helped Mr Reddy interaction directly with party leaders and second rung grassroot leaders.

He was able to sort out issues without depending upon middlemen. This padayatra has made Jagan more accessible to leaders and cadres, observed a party functionary.

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