The gusto continued for the second day on Wednesday when TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu resumed his ‘Vastunna Meekosam’ Padayatra from Kollakunta in Anantapur district. He utilised his peregrination across the Rayalaseema hinterland to interact with people in villages and gain a first hand experience about the problems of the villagers.
Before setting out, he had a light breakfast of idli and sambar and a glass of apple juice at the tent where he spent the night. He spend about an hour with women in Kolakunta who poured out their grievances to him. “My pension was stopped in 2009. I do not know why. How can I live?,” asked 60-yr-old Chowdamma. Naidu responded by promising that if the TDP comes to power, he would not only restore her pension but enhance it to `500 per month.
During his interaction, Naidu spoke of the empowerment of the marginalised castes. “There are several castes which do not have representation in the Assembly. Unless one is politically empowered, one would not be able to sort out the problems of one’s community” he said.
As Naidu was speaking on what should be done for the amelioration of the backward classes, one Gouramma stood up and complained him that there was no drinking water in the village. “There are two power borewells in the village. As there is no power supply, there is no drinking water here,” she said. Naidu then began on his favourite subject-Power. He spoke about the mess in which the power utilities are and blamed the Congress government for it.
A handloom weaver Aswartha sought Naidu’s intervention for bringing down the prices of the yarn and dyes. “We are in a crisis. Please help us,” he pleaded. Naidu said he understood his problems and would try mounting pressure on the government for delivering justice.
During the course of his Padayatra, he reached a spinning mill, where workers pleaded him to ensure power supply to the mill as the management was threatening to lay them off due to long durations of power cuts. Naidu said that power crisis was leading lay offs everywhere.
“As many as 30,000 small industries have already shut shop,” he said and pointed out that about 50,000 workers in Hindupur alone will be on streets if power supply to industries do not improve.
Leaving the mill, Naidu continued with his Padayatra, with two escort vehicles.