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Will Jaganmohan Reddy's Padayatra be as Influential as His Father's?

The padayatra is an effort by Jagan to pitch himself as the alternative to incumbent Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:November 6, 2017, 1:58 PM IST
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Will Jaganmohan Reddy's Padayatra be as Influential as His Father's?
Jagan Mohan Reddy (C) during his Praja Sankalpa Yatra.
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Hyderabad: Selfies, handshakes and hugs — This is how a massive crowd greeted YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy, as he kickstarted his six-month-long “Praja Sankalpa Yatra” in Andhra Pradesh.

The padayatra is an effort by Jagan to pitch himself as the alternative to incumbent Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

In line with creating the new brand, the outreach has been coined with the slogan "Ravali Jagan, Kavali Jagan (We want Jagan, We need Jagan)".

The party top brass is concerned about low morale among their cadre with 22 MLAs switching their loyalty to the TDP. It was, after all, a padayatra by Jagan’s father YS Rajashekara Reddy, which propelled him to the chief ministerial seat in 2003.

“Jaganmohan Reddy has made sure he listens to every voice in the party. Recently, during a party workers’ meeting, Jagan walked to the very end of the hall to hear out an inaudible party worker,” said a source in the party.

In a bid to reach out to one-and-all, Jagan has initiated a citizen engagement video series called ‘Jagan Speaks’. The aim is to keep those who cannot join the rally updated about it and to share personal experiences from the outreach programme.

Sources in the Indian Political Action Committee, headed by Prashant Kishore, which is strategising YSRCP’s 2019 campaign said, “Jagan is embracing a new approach to self-projection. He is on a path of transformation and is in the process of developing a new brand out of himself.”

The padayatra, set to pan 125 constituencies, covering 3000 kilometres, will highlight the party’s manifesto of Navaratnas or nine promises. It also aims to expose the ‘failures and lies’ of the present Chandrababu Naidu-led government.

Jagan has planned more than 5000 roadside meetings during his yatra in order to “understand the current sentiment of people from different walks of life”.

While YSRCP hopes that the current outreach can emulate the one which took place 15 years ago, the bugle for 2019 has nonetheless been sounded.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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