Hyderabad: Drawing inspiration from Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi, who embarked on temple visits in 2018 during Madhya Pradesh elections, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A. Revanth Reddy is set to address a large public meeting to mark the beginning of his padayatra as part of the ‘Haath se Haath jodo Abhiyan’ from Bhadrachalam in the Bhadradri-Kothagudem district on February 6.
The first meeting of Revanth Reddy’s padayatra will take place in Bhadrachalam, which is home to one of Telangana’s most important temples, including the well-known Sri Sita Ramachandraswamy temple. Sonia Gandhi or her daughter Priyanka are likely to attend the meeting. The padayatra will cover several districts.
Political analysts claim that Revanth Reddy's strategy to begin his padayatra from Bhadradri, an important religious destination, is to take aim at Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao for neglecting the temple town while concentrating all of his attention and financial resources on developing the Yadadri temple, as well target the BJP which often claims that it stands for the rights of Hindus and the protection of temples. His itinerary also includes stops at mosques, churches and dargahs.
“The PCC leader's visit to temples, dargahs and churches, including the Medak church, is part of a strategy to gain inroads to rivals' vote banks. Through this approach, the PCC leader will try to win over the confidence of different sections of the society and expose the unfulfilled promises made during the past elections,” a party source claimed.
Revanth Reddy is likely to bring up the issue of how the complacent attitude of the state and the Central government contributed to the financial difficulties of religious places of worship during his visit to them.
The padayatra was supposed to begin at either Adilabad or Mahbubnagar according to the initial plan, which was discussed during the PCC's extended executive committee meeting presided over by AICC incharge (Telangana) Manikrao Thakre. Sources said the monitoring committee of the Congress remained clueless about Revanth Reddy’s two-month padayatra.
The date has been finalised for the public meeting. However, the place has not yet been decided. “The places under consideration are Suryapet or Mulugu as they received less attention from the Congress, particularly after Revanth took charge as TPCC president,” a committee member claimed.