Member of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council and Telugu Desam general secretary Nara Lokesh will embark on a ‘padayatra’ (foot march) beginning January 27, 2023, as his party is seeking to wrest power back from the YSR Congress. For some time now there has been talk about Lokesh’s strategic move as he is seen as the political heir as well to TDP supremo and former Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu, but now he made his padayatra plan official. ”For 400 days, I will walk over 4,000-km across the state,” he formally told the TDP cadre in Mangalagiri.
The 39-year old Lokesh, son of Chandrababu Naidu, lost the Assembly elections in 2019 from Mangalagiri constituency that forms part of AP’s capital region Amaravati.
”I guess Mangalagiri has now become our citadel. I am leaving it in your hands now, as I will be touring the entire state from January 27. (Chief Minister) Jagan Mohan Reddy will spare no arsenal to break our citadel, so we have to be very careful,” he told the TDP cadre. General elections are due in AP in April-May 2024.
Political leaders have chosen padayatra as the route to power over the years.
It was his foot march in 2003 that propelled Y S Rajasekhara Reddy to power in 2004 in the erstwhile united state.
Chandrababu Naidu adopted the same method in 2012-13 to return to power in 2014.
The YSRC chief Jagan Mohan Reddy was also catapulted to the Chief Minister’s chair in 2019 after his 3,680-km padayatra in 2018 in the residual state.