Deccan Chronicle

Neta Natter | Padayatras creating frenemies in Congress

Deccan Chronicle. | DC Correspondent

Published on: March 18, 2023 | Updated on: March 18, 2023
Rahul's team put in place, is a good thing to follow, as Telangana state Congress president A. Revanth Reddy has been doing during his Haath se Haath Jodo Yatra in the state. (DC Photo)

Rahul's team put in place, is a good thing to follow, as Telangana state Congress president A. Revanth Reddy has been doing during his Haath se Haath Jodo Yatra in the state. (DC Photo)

Friends? Foes? Or something in between? Political colleagues come in all hues but as the saying goes, there is no permanent "enemy" or "friend" in politics. The latest example of this long-standing and time-tested theory, is on display all over again, this time in the Congress and its padayatras. Whether convenience, or compulsion, or plain point-making, the presence or absence of some at these events has been raising several eyebrows in the party. Such was the experience of the Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka as he began his 1,000-km padayatra the other day from Adilabad district. When on March 3, AICC programme implementation committee Chairman Alleti Maheshwar Reddy began his (now aborted) padayatra, Bhatti was one of the chief guests at the event. Fast forward 13 days to March 16 and Maheshwar Reddy was absent when Bhatti started his padayatra, as were several other senior party leaders. Ploughing a lonely furrow in politics is no easy task, as every politician knows. But there are too many such furrows in the party, a leader lamented, saying that because of this, the road is just getting rougher, and tougher to travel on.


Trust Balayya to make the most of a given situation. Upset over a YSRC worker getting targeted for playing a Balayya movie song during a ruling party procession in Narsaraopet of Andhra Pradesh, Nandamuri Balakrishna, the man who can do no wrong on the silver screen, issued a warning like none other to Narsaraopet MLA G. Srinivasa Reddy for targeting the hapless party worker Bhaskar Reddy for playing a Balayya song. Alluding to the proverbial third eye and that if he opens his, the consequences would be catastrophic for those raising objections to playing movie songs, particularly from his movies, at political events, Balayya said politics were different from movies and anyone should be able to play any song irrespective of the event or party affiliation. It remains to be seen if the movie star turned MLA from the TD, will maintain the same tune if a song from a Pawan Kalyan movie is played at an event of his.


Remember that thing elders told us when we were kids? Dad knows best. Particularly if what dad knew paid rich dividends. And so with this philosophy, AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has made it clear to detractors attacking him on his economic policies accusing him of turning "AP into another Sri Lanka", that his priority has always been welfare of the poor. "My battle is against those who rob the poor. My goal is to eradicate poverty," Jagan declared in relation to what his party leaders are now calling "Jaganomics" in AP. He further stated that he stays grounded and wants to eradicate poverty while the opposition talks of things like Microsoft, Bill Gates and the Bullet Train. "The state will do well only if all the regions and all groups are strengthened. This is the principle I believe in. This is my economics and the politics and history which I have learnt from my father."


The sudden spell of silence from Sangareddy MLA and Congress party leader T. Jagga Reddy has left some in his party wondering why the otherwise voluble leader has not been his normal self, harping on with his views and opinions on different issues. It began with the recent Budget Session of the Assembly where he restricted himself to House proceedings, with the streak continuing even after the new AICC in-charge for Telangana state, Manikrao Thakre, took charge. Currently, Jagga Reddy is confined to his constituency and issues the odd statement to the media to assert that he is active but his party colleagues are not sure about this. When a senior party leader was asked if the MLA will undertake the Haath Se Haath Jodo yatra in his constituency, the leader shot back: "Let him answer phone calls of partymen first."


Setting a scorching pace during a padayatra like Congress leader Rahul Gandhi did during his South-to-North Bharat Jodo Yatra — covering 24 km a day — might not be everybody’s cup of tea. But a good plan in terms of logistics that Rahul’s team put in place, is a good thing to follow, as Telangana state Congress president A. Revanth Reddy has been doing during his Haath se Haath Jodo Yatra in the state. Except for the distance Rahul covered, Revanth’s team is ensuring that logistics like Revanth meeting people along the way, and other arrangements follow the now well established template. While at his camp Revanth meets people from different sections and after beginning his walk at 4 pm every day, and before packing up for the night at 9 pm, he is seen walking with different folks, a la Rahul Gandhi. Following in the footsteps of his leader, is apparently paying off for the TPCC chief in terms of public support.


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