Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Will Nara Lokesh get dividends from his 400-day padayatra?

  • It is better to keep away from unnatural hypocrisy
  • Relying on sincerity and commitment may give good results
  • His walkathon starts on Friday, the 27th

Nara Lokesh, General Secretary of Telugu Desam Party, ahead of 2024 polls will be embarking upon a Padayatra from January 27, 2023, which was christened ‘Yuva Galam’. It will cover a distance of 4000 km in 400 days from Kuppam in Chittoor district to Ichchapuram in Srikakulam district.  “Walking, interacting, mingling, associating, addressing and socialising with the people aka voters before elections will definitely be useful to the leader of a political party” say the seasoned persons. The past experiences in such exercise paid rich dividends to the political parties. NTR, Lokesh’s grandfather, came to power after addressing thousands of meetings. Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, father of Lokesh’s bête noire Jagan Mohan Reddy,  became chief minister of AP after walking 1600 kms from Chevella to Ichchapuram and his son Y S Jaganmohan Reddy succeeded after a walkathon covering more than 3648 kms in 341 days, the longest so far by any politician in the country.

Only lady in the country who walked

Not to forget the only lady in the country who undertook a long walkathon, YS Sharmila Reddy, sister of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and daughter of YS Rajasekhar Reddy, who walked about 3000 kms from Idupulapaya in Kadapa district to Ichchapuram in Srikakulam district starting in the middle of October 2012 and ending in August 2013. She has been walking again in Telangana after launching her party YSRTP in 2021. While three persons in four-member YSR family walked for political reasons, now the second member from Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s three-member family is raring to walk.

Lokesh wants to exceed the length and time of his rival Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Should have certain sterling qualities

The leader- heading Padayatra- should need some qualities like discipline, hard work, commitment, patience to hear the people, exposing misrule of ruling party in a clever manner, interest to know the issues of the poor while conducting such programs. The Padayatra is a good occasion for Nara Lokesh to shape himself as a mass leader provided  he is serious about the programme.

Son of Nara Chandrababu Naidu should follow some stringent rules. He should keep away from  simulated plans during his mega programme in view of digital media that is rampant in  the society. The techniques followed by the politicians during the days when only print media was dictating the terms were different. Electronic media also operated in different climate. The same methods and tactics will not work out in the present age of the digital media. Unlike the two previous regimes, the common people became  major stake-holders in the social media – be it  WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and Instagram.

No  short cut methods would help

Do not try to get mileage through short-cut methods like drone cameras, narrow lanes creating false impressions, stage-managed shows by the party workers, mouth-publicity techniques and others.  They will be counterproductive. One thing the opposition leader should keep in mind is “All is not well with the rule of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s Andhra Pradesh”. Though there were good programs being implemented by the YSRCP government, the hegemony of MLAs and their corruption is high in AP. Not taking the opposition parties into confidence  while implementing important decisions, capital issue, corruption and various loopholes in government schemes can be exposed without indulging in dramatics. It is better not to try simulated dialogues before public. The articulation should be natural and should not be an imitation.

Media matters very much     

Jalagam Vengal Rao and Marri Channa Reddy, when they were APCC presidents, tried to expose the then chief minister N T Rama Rao through their clever statements. It was the era of only print media that was ruling the roost. Chandrababu Naidu and YSR were highlighted during electronic media regime. The people knew the inner feelings of a leader through his or her statements in electronic media channel exposures. YSR is said to be benefitted by it.  It is the time of social and digital media. Well conceived plans-particularly sincere efforts- are needed to get true mileage. The 400-day padayatra may give dividends if Lokesh acts wisely, carefully and faithfully. All the best to him.

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