Naidu’s Yatra won’t revive TDP

Gurava Reddy

An end to end
walkathons (Paadayaatra) by their leader have been the last resort for
floundering political parties! It happened to Congress Party before 2004
elections, and its most recognized leader, YS Rajasekhara Reddy walked over
1500 miles in scorching heat of summer of 2003 from Chevella to Ichapuram, and
straight into the hearts and souls of the masses. There were many reasons for
the grand success of YSR’s Praja Prasthaanam, but the key reasons were

1. YSR was not in power
for over 25 years, so when he walked against the anti-people policies of the
then TDP government, people saw him as an alternative and with better ideas.

2. YSR’s Praja Prasthaanam
was not seen by masses as a deliberately orchestrated or disparate for power

3. The state was in the
middle of a long drought, suicides of farmers mounting, and the state
government was casting a blind eye on the sufferings and denying the whole
thing as farce. The rulers were only interested in IT, not
farming. YSR showed up at the doorsteps of the farmers as someone who did
understand the farming and farmers.

4. The traditional
dressing of YSR and his patience listening to crowds endeared him to the
masses. Less talking and more listening was the theme. 5. YSR’s credibility
factor and the scorching heat wave of the summer made his Prasthaanam even more
effective. 6. The Prasthaanam’s by-product was that Congress workers started
believing in YSR’s leadership of Congress party and his ability to dispose of
the reigning TDP government.

Most importantly, the
Praja Prasthaanam was simple, regular, and a matter of fact program by a leader
to learn peoples’ problems and to devise ways to address them. No movie
directors directing, no script writers writing dialogues, no psychologists
advising him how to get closer to the masses. Simple and stunning – real
leadership of YSR! YSR was a born leader!

Now comes “Vasthunnaa –
Mee Kosam” by Chandrababu, with a tagline “Daakkunnaa Vadalanu”, and is like a
movie or a drama. 

He stopped showing
fingers (V), and started doing namaskaarams for the first time, not fit for the
IT revolution’s self proclaimed torch bearer. But, neutral observers knew this
was forced on him by himself and the desperate situation he is in. The TDP
hardcore cadres surely are enthused, but not the general public.

Chandrababu cannot
answer the simple question as to why he is doing padayatra against Congress
government’s misrule, when in fact he doesn’t exercise the constitutional right
of proposing the “real” no-confidence motion against it and dethrone it! And,
he may have his reasons for colluding with Congress government to stop Jagan,
but do the people care?

TDP has been losing its
vote share from 1994 (44.14%) to 2010-2012 (19.5% Seemandhra and less than 15%,
if Telangana is included), compared to 54% voting for YSRCP in the
corresponding period of 2010-2012. Most voting blocks (Muslims, Christians,
BCs) moved away from the party, for good with Chandrababu’s opportunistic
politics and policies. His lack of credibility has been evident with TDP losing
deposits in more than 45 Assembly or Parliamentary by-elections to the state
from 2009 onwards, and not winning even a single seat!

Chandrababu and his
supporters still think they can solve TDP’s miseries with band aids, when even
a serious surgery may not salvage their ship! The most fascinating thing is
that the yellow media still think that they can influence the masses with their
fake stories and coverage to suit their political needs.

Chandrababu, despite
several firsts, still have several old habits that he cannot get away. He still
needs an AC mega bus that was specially fabricated in Bombay with all the amenities,
he still needs his personal chef travelling in another AC bus, cooking special
meals and making special juices and snacks. 

Vasthunnaa – Mee Kosam
is an elaborate, devised for a politician to act in front of people that he
cares about their problems, when in fact he himself was the reason the people
are suffering to this day! Movie directors directing, script writers writing
dialogues, psychologists advising him how to get closer to the masses.

Chandrababu’s yatra is
like a movie or drama! People are wiser now than previous generations, and whatever
Chandrababu thinks of them, they have shown it over 45 times already and will
show him more and more in future. On the whole, Chandrababu’s Vasthunnaa – Mee
Kosam will not improve TDP and its chances!

(Updated on Oct 13,2012)

The writer is based at Atlanta in
the USA and can be reached at:

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