The memory of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s ‘Vastunna Meekosam’ padayatra lingers on in Adilabad district even after one year of the event and despite the political wind blowing against the party. That people continue to attach credibility to the promise of crop loan waiver made by Mr. Naidu during the padayatra is evident from the dismally low percentage of recovery of crop loans.
“Crop loan waiver was the most important of promises made by Mr. Naidu as it directly benefits the farmer. In fact, the padayatra in Adilabad in December last year owed its success solely to this promise,” claims Akula Srinivas, sarpanch of Khanapur village in Khanapur Assembly constituency where the TDP president had culminated his nine-day walk through this district by addressing an unexpectedly large public meeting. Mr. Srinivas feels that the assurance can even win elections for the TDP in Telangana region, notwithstanding the present political situation. “If YSR could win an election by promising waiver of just the interest on crop loans, then there is no scope for doubting the chances of the TDP,” he argues.
“An election alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party will be a clincher for the party at least in some of the constituencies in the district,” adds Sallapedda Rameshwar Reddy, a former Mandal Parishad president at Khanapur and senior TDP leader from the constituency. Incidentally, Khanapur Assembly constituency is known to be well looked after by TDP polit bureau member and Adilabad MP Ramesh Rathod.
Recalling the course of the padayatra, observers say attendance for the event picked up gradually as the TDP president kept on stressing on the promise to waive farm loans soon after he started the yatra at Basar on December 6. The padayatra ended on a grand note as an estimated 10,000 people attended the public meeting at Khanapur before he crossed over to Karimnagar district to a rousing welcome from party activists.