Though Pawan claimed the aim of his tour was to see the ground reality in Rayalaseema, some feel his tours could mitigate the anti-incumbency wave.
As political rifts stand exposed in the ruling coalition (BJP-TDP) in Andhra Pradesh much before the 2019 general elections, opposition leader Jagan Mohan Reddy’s state-wide walkathon has reached the 1,000-km milestone in Nellore on Monday.
The state is currently seeing much political turmoil, such as CM Chandrababu Naidu’s clear hints of a break-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party and actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan’s political tours, especially the current one covering Rayalaseema, where Jagan hails from.
The question of whether Jagan’s political walkathon – Praja Sankalpa Yatra – still has the momentum and significance it had earlier is mocking at the face of political observers and YSRCP leadership.
But this is what YSRCP leader Gadikota Srikanth Reddy had to say, “Naidu failed in implementing even a single promise, the state is in distress, farmers and weavers are committing suicide, unemployment is high, we are reaching out to people every day.”
Scoffing at Pawan’s ongoing ‘Chalo Re Chal’ tour, Gadikota said, “There is a huge difference in what he is saying and what he is doing. He says he wants to fight for the people but doesn’t want to create problems for the ruling party.”
Though Gadikota believes that Pawan’s political yatras are part of Chandrababu’s game plan, he says it doesn’t affect the YSRCP as people don’t “trust” Pawan.
Jagan began the yatra following the debacle of the Nandyal by-election and the Kakinada Municipal elections, despite huge criticism for skipping the Assembly session.
However, few observers feel that there is no negative vibe against the YSRCP yatra, as it is consolidating sections like farmers, weavers and unemployed youth by assuring the ‘Navaratnalu’ (Jagan’s prime promises for 2019).
Even as the yatra began, the score of defections from the YSRCP to the ruling party went up to 23. In fact, Jagan wrote a letter to the President seeking his intervention, alleging that Naidu’s party was luring his party MLAs with ministerial berths or by paying huge cash amounts.
Senior journalist G Nagaraja opined, “Union’s upcoming budget allocations to the state will also possibly put an end to speculations on the BJP-TDP coalition.”
Sources from the YSRCP also suggest that their leader is being misrepresented by certain sections of the media when he said he would support those who will give ‘Special Category Status’ to the state.
As a “coincidence”, even as Jagan entered the coastal districts from Rayalaseema, Pawan Kalyan, who doesn’t want to create troubles for the ruling TDP, making a rapid trip across Rayalaseema.
Though Pawan claimed the aim of his tour was to see the ground reality in Rayalaseema and find a solution to the drought-related farmer suicides, some feel his tours could mitigate the anti-incumbency wave, in turn playing spoilsport for the YSRCP. It is also reported that Pawan’s tours were held in the areas where TDP performed badly in 2014.
A recent survey by a popular agency too indicated that Jagan’s party infringing into rural interiors much more rigorously than earlier can amass maximum seats if elections take place immediately.
On the other hand, CM Chandrababu Naidu is insisting on finishing the Polavaram project before 2019, which could bring positive vibes for his government and attract a big chunk of votes from the rural areas for his party. #KhabarLive