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Telugu Desam Party gearing up for Lokesh’s padayatra from Kuppam on January 27

Senior party leaders say that ‘Yuva Galam’ does not require any police permission and it has nothing to do with curbs imposed through G.O. No. 1

January 21, 2023 06:25 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:02 am IST - CHITTOOR

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is gearing up for the launch of ‘Yuva Galam’, a 4,000-km-long padayatra by its national general secretary N. Lokesh from Kuppam on January 27.

Senior leaders observe that the padayatra doesn’t require any permission from the police and that it has nothing to do with the restrictions imposed through G.O. No.1, the fate of which is yet to be decided legally.

Special puja

Sources in the party say that Mr. Lokesh will perform special puja at the temple of Lord Varadaraja Swamy at Lakshmipuram village on the outskirts of Kuppam before commencing the padayatra.

Incidentally, ‘Ratha Sapthami’ is celebrated in this temple on January 27 as against the following day (January 28) elsewhere.

Party leaders say there is no clarity on whether Mr. Lokesh will take part in the ‘vahanam’ processions in the temple.

After performing the rituals, Mr. Lokesh is scheduled to address a public meeting in the village.

“If circumstances permit, he will address the public meeting. Otherwise, he will kick-start the padayatra,” says a senior party leader.

The walkathon will pass through Kuppam, Palamaner, Chittoor, and Puthalapattu Assembly constituencies in Chittoor district at the rate of 10-km per day.

Buzz missing

Though the ‘Yuva Galam’ schedule has been announced a couple of months ago, the buzz is still missing in the TDP circles.

“People have an emotional bonding with their MLA and TDP national president N. Chandrababu Naidu, and have no direct rapport with his son. We just view him as son of Mr. Naidu,” observes a 70-year-old TDP supporter in Kuppam.

YSRCP strongholds

Mr. Lokesh’s padayatra will cover the Assembly constituencies of Palamaner, Puthalapattu, and Chittoor, which are now represented by the ruling YSR Congress Party and are considered the strongholds of Energy Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy.

However, the TDP cadres are hopeful that impressive crowds can be mobilised in these areas, which are bastions of the party till 2019.

As the TDP is yet to announce its candidates for the 2024 elections, people can be mobilised with the involvement of aspirants, the organisers say.

In the 2019 elections, out of the 14 Assembly seats in Chittoor district, the YSRCP had won in 13, while Mr. Naidu retained Kuppam with a dwindled majority.

Meanwhile, the police are closely watching the political developments in the western mandals.

“There is absolutely no issue with Yuva Galam if the schedule is limited to a walkathon. We are waiting for the outcome of the legal hassle over G.O. No. 1,” says a senior police officer.

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