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KTR to follow beaten path to revive BRS glory?

KTR to follow beaten path to revive BRS glory?

As the people of the Telugu states remember the former Chief Minister of combined Andhra Pradesh, late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, on his 75th birth anniversary on Monday, one notable aspect is the way he set a new trend in politics with his "Praja Prasthanam" padayatra across the state, braving the mid-summer heat in 2003.

The padayatra not only propelled YSR to power in the state but also revitalized the Congress party nationwide.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power twice in 2004 and 2009 largely due to YSR's influence.

Leaders from almost all political parties in the country have followed YSR's example by undertaking similar marathon padayatras.

Even Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed that he was inspired by YSR in taking up his "Bharat Jodo" padayatra.

In Andhra Pradesh, the padayatra formula brought TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu to power in 2014 and YSR Congress party president Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2019. The TDP also benefitted immensely from Nara Lokesh's Yuva Galam padayatra in 2023.

The only party that did not experiment with this padayatra strategy is the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), formerly known as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

Party president K. Chandrasekhar Rao never adopted this approach, relying instead on Telangana sentiment and his own popularity.

KCR believed that people would vote for the BRS repeatedly based on his image and speeches.

His son K T Rama Rao, daughter Kavitha, and nephew T Harish Rao also assumed there was no need to connect directly with the people through padayatras, believing the Telangana sentiment would suffice.

Now, after the BRS faced a setback in the assembly elections on November 30 and failed to secure seats in the Lok Sabha elections, KCR seems to have realized that reconnecting with the people is essential.

Sources say he has asked his son K T Rama Rao to plan a state-wide padayatra in the coming days to reach out to the people.

Although KCR himself considered the yatra, it is not feasible due to his recent hip surgery and other health issues.

Thus, he is planning to have his son undertake the padayatra for two years to revive the party at all levels and highlight the failures of the Revanth Reddy government.

“The padayatra might be planned to start from October 2, Gandhi Jayanti,” the source said.


Tags: Telangana KTR Padayatra