Hyderabad: Telugu Desam Party president and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu will soon take to the streets on foot in his quest to regain power. (Agencies)
"I will begin my 'paadayatra' (foot march) on October 2 from Hindupur in Anantapur district. What can be a more auspicious day than Gandhiji's birth anniversary to launch the yatra," Naidu formally told the Telugu Desam rank and file at the party's extended general body meeting at the NTR Bhavan on Monday afternoon.
He suggested two names Jana Chaitanyam (people's awakening) and Vastunna…Mee Kosam (I am coming… for you) – for the yatra and asked the party cadre to finalise an appropriate one.
Naidu hit upon the 'paadayatra' idea last month but many tried to dissuade him from taking it up saying it would be like walking in the footsteps of his staunch political rival (late) Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, whose 1700km foot march in 2003 rode the Congress to power in 2004, party sources said.
But he remained steadfast and told senior leaders in his party that he would go ahead with his plan.
The party then started working on the details and chalked out a route map covering all three regions of the state.
Though initially party leaders wanted Chandrababu to begin the yatra from Telangana region, the latter finally settled for Hindupur in Rayalaseema region, a stronghold of the TDP that was earlier represented by the party's founder-president N T Rama Rao, they said.
The Leader of Opposition is expected to cover over 2,000 km in 117 days covering about 13 out of 23 districts of the state in the first round.
In 2007-08, the TDP chief undertook a state-wide tour Mee Kosam (for you) ahead of the 2009 elections but could not return to power despite forging a grand alliance with the Left parties and the TRS. He also undertook a foot march (not full length, though) for the farmers' cause last year but that did not ostensibly pay any political dividends.
Now, the 30-year-old party is facing a much bigger threat to its political existence with the Telangana factor on one hand and the Jagan factor on the other eroding its base in the three regions of the state.
Hyderabad: Telugu Desam Party president and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu will soon take to the streets on foot in his quest to regain power.