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Chandrababu Naidu sets out to recover TDP’s turf

Published: 02nd October 2012 08:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2012 10:54 AM   |  A+A-

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As he embarks on his 117-day padayatra on Tuesday, 63-year-old Chandrababu Naidu would be hoping that the limelight will swing towards him long enough for him to salvage the past glory of his party.

The brouhaha over the Telangana March ended just in the nick of time for him to wrest the political agenda when he sets out from Hindupur at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Also, another rival claimant to political attention, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, is cooling off behind the high walls of the Chanchalguda prison.

 Sources in the TDP say the padayatra is Naidu’a response to the need to do something dramatic to turn the tide in his favour after defeats in two successive general elections, the flipflop on Telangana and Jagan’s breakout from Congress and his subsequent rise in Coastal Andhra.

 Speaking to Express amidst preparations for his own march, Naidu, however, said the padayatra is as much for his party as for the people of the state.

 “There is no governance in the state and people are suffering because of the price rise and severe power cuts,” he said.

 “The idea behind this yatra is to meet people, interact with them, assess the miserable conditions, infuse confidence in the people and at the same time understand the ways and means of solving their haunting problems.”

According to party leaders, there is no structured schedule for the walkathon. To put it in Naidu’s own words, “I will walk through villages, meet whoever I can -- farmers, farm labourers, artisans and so on and learn from them.”

A team of ten assistants will acccompany him to prep him for each village meeting and to record the encounters with ordinary people. There was, however, no clarity on when Naidu’s padayatra will enter the region where he faces his toughest challenge -- Telangana.



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