Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu is likely to begin his padayatra from Kosigi in Mahbubnagar district on October 2.
According to TDP leader Kambhampati Ramamohana Rao, the padayatra will begin either from Kosigi if Naidu wants to start it from Telangana or from Hindupur in Anantapur district if he chooses to take up the yatra from Seemandhra. “It will be either Kosigi or Hindupur,” he said.
Naidu, who had initially thought of commencing his padayatra from Adilabad district, has changed his mind after astrologers advised him against it. Though a couple of places in Andhra region too were suggested including Hindupur in Anantapur district, Naidu is more inclined to begin his march from Mahbubnagar district to send a message that he is not villainous as he is being projected.
Though it is expected that Naidu will announce his stand on Telangana before kicking off his padayatra, the possibility looks remote with Naidu telling his confidants that whatever stand the party will take on T issue can be announced at the all-party meeting that the Centre may convene soon.
Out of power since 2004, Naidu is keen that he should make a comeback this time but the challenge ahead for him is more daunting than in 2009 with his party losing most of the vote bank in Telangana though his party network is intact.
The TDP chief has been, of late, making noises to make the people of Telangana trust his credentials on Telangana and has been saying that he would write to the Centre, shedding the equivocal stand he had taken till now _ supporting both Telangana and Samaikyandhra demands. He unfurled the national flag and celebrated the Telangana Liberation Day on September 17 at his party office, to ingratiate himself with the people of the region.
Now he wants to kick off his padayatra from the Telangana region with the intention of persuading the people to trust him. The 117-day march will end on January 26 after walking for about 20 km a day and covering over 2,000 km.
Film actor and Naidu’s brother-in-law N. Balakrishna said he was ready to join the padayatra if Naidu requested him.
Speaking to reporters after performing Ganesh puja at the Basavatarakam Cancer Hospital at Banjara Hills, he said he would contest the Assembly elections from whichever constituency the party decided. He would undertake a statewide tour to strengthen the party’s base, he announced.