TDP leader Lokesh's padyatra concludes near Vizag

After a gap of 79 days, due to Naidu’s arrest by the CID in September in the Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Corporation scam, Lokesh resumed the foot march late last month.
Nara Lokesh
Nara LokeshIANS
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Telugu Desam Party (TDP) General Secretary Nara Lokesh's padyatra "Yuva Galam" came to an end in Visakhapatnam district on Monday, December 18. After 226 days, the TDP leader concluded his padyatra at Aganampudi, covering a distance of 3,132 kilometres.

It was on January 27 that Lokesh had embarked on a 4,000 km-long state-wide padyatra from Kuppam constituency represented by his father and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu. The TDP had claimed that the aim of the padyatra was to end the "atrocious rule" of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The walkathon was to cover 120 Assembly constituencies. However, it actually covered 97 constituencies. Lokesh had to stop his padyatra due to Naidu’s arrest by the CID in September in the Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Corporation scam. After a gap of 79 days, he resumed the foot march late last month.

While ending the padyatra, Lokesh clarified that his TDP never accepted privation of the Vizag Steel Plant. He said immediately after coming to power in the state, the TDP will raise its voice in Parliament against the move to privatise the plant.

"Necessary steps will be taken to see to it that justice is done for the steel plant displaced and the coming TDP government will extend its cooperation for the plant like allotting captive mines which are necessary for its survival," Lokesh told the steel plant displaced who met him at Gajuwaka.

The displaced brought to his notice that even after 40 years, justice was not done to them though they have given their lands for the project. They told Lokesh about the Centre's plan to privatise the steel plant and once the Centre goes ahead with it they will be the worst hit. Majority of them are yet to get compensation for the lands that they have given for the plant and also jobs as promised by the management.

Stating that the steel plant is the result of many sacrifices after a prolonged battle, he said this is the only steel plant located along a sea-shore. Andhra's self-respect is attached to this plant and its privatisation will not be allowed, at any cost, he said.

Though the Centre has already announced that the plant will be privatised, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has been remaining silent for fear of the Centre's reprisal by bringing back the cases pending against him, remarked Lokesh.

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