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Jagan Padayatra: Will He, Won't He?

The latest reports from the camp of YSR Congress party is that its president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is contemplating undertaking a "Maha Padayatra" (Great March) sometime in the first quarter of next year to go into the people highlighting the failures of the Chandrababu Naidu government.

Padayatra is definitely a powerful weapon for any politician to go into the people and attack the parties in power.

Late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy did it in 2003 and came to power in 2004. TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu also did it and it brought him back to power in 2014. So, there is no wonder if Jagan is also thinking on the same lines.

But the question is whether it is too early for Jagan to take up the padayatra. Already, he had toured the state extensively in the name of Odarpu Yatras, Rythu Bharosa Yatra etc.

In the last two years, Jagan has been going into people on one pretext or the other. His latest Gadapa Gadapaku YSRC programme is also aimed at highlighting Naidu government’s failures. So, there may not be any additional political mileage he would be getting now.

Secondly, there are several other opportunities forthcoming for Jagan to be in the people – like municipal elections, by-elections to the assembly seats, if defectors are disqualified by Supreme Court and also the by-elections to MP seats, if they resign demanding special category status. After exhausting all these options, if Jagan thinks it will really fetch him, he can take up padayatra.

Party leaders say if Jagan decides to do padayatra now, he does it for a maximum of three or four months. Still, there will be two years for the elections and Naidu can plan aggressive programmes to woo the electorate. What will be there for Jagan to highlight then?

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Tags: Chandrababu Naidu Jagan Padayatra YSR Congress