Telugu Desam Party president and former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu kicked off his 100-day, state-wide yatra on Monday.
Naidu set out on the yatra in a specially built campaign bus from Matammagudi (local temple) in a Dalit colony in Rayalapuram village in his native Chittoor district, after seeking divine blessings of Lord Venkateswara at the famed Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam. Senior TDP leaders K Yerran Naidu, T Devender Goud and party founder late N T Rama Rao’s son and Member of Parliament Nandamuri Harikrishna are accompanying the TDP chief.
Naidu’s brother-in-law Harikrishna drove the vehicle, replicating his role as the sarathi of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister NTR’s Chaitanya ratham, whenever the party founder embarked on state-wide campaigns on the eve of elections.
Incidentally, it was from the same Dalitwada that Naidu had launched his political career and poll campaign way back in February 1978, when he had successfully contested for the Assembly from Chandragiri constituency on a Congress ticket.
With the next Assembly elections barely a year away, Naidu is undertaking the marathon yatra— christened as Mee Kosam Chaitanya yatra — to dethrone the Congress regime led by Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy.
The theme of the yatra, which is likely to be extended to 150 days (five months), will be ‘highlighting the Congress’ misrule, rampant corruption, irregularities in land allotments and mining leases, break-down of law and order, spurt in political killings of TDP workers, rising prices of essential commodities and the continuing woes of the farmers in the state’.
Naidu’s yatra will enter Nalgonda district from Guntur and pass through all the districts in Telangana region. Naidu will then proceed to the state’s coastal areas and Rayalaseema district.
By Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad