YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) leader YS Sharmila on Wednesday launched her 'padayatra' to end what she called "misrule" of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and to bring back the welfare rule of her late father and former (undivided) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
Sharmila's mother YS Vijayamma flagged off the 'Praja Prasthanam' padayatra from Chevella in Ranga Reddy district, from where Rajasekhara Reddy had launched his famous padayatra with the same title in 2003. Addressing a well-attended public meeting on the occasion, Sharmila slammed Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for what she called ignoring people's welfare to focus on his family rule. She said removing KCR from power was the goal of the YSRTP.
Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, plans to walk 4,000 km covering 16 of the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies and all Assembly constituencies except those coming under the limits of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
Sharmila, who floated the YSRTP on YSR's birth anniversary on July 8, will be covering 12 to 15 km every day. The padayatra will conclude at Chevella. It was at Chevella that YSR, as Rajasekhara Reddy was popularly known, had launched his famous padayatra in 2003. The padayatra in then undivided Andhra Pradesh had catapulted the YSR-led Congress to power, ending the nearly decade-long rule of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headed by Chandrababu Naidu.
"I am following in the footsteps of my father YSR who sowed the seeds of welfare with his padayatra," said Sharmila. She claimed that 8,000 farmers died by suicide in Telangana during last seven years and 30,000 employees were retrenched. She lashed out at the TRS government for not filling 1.90 lakh vacancies in government departments and alleged that hundreds of unemployed people have died by suicide.
Disputing KCR's claim of development and welfare, Sharmila dared him to come for a walkathon with her to see the people's problems. She said if it was proved that there are no problems in the state, she will rub her nose on the ground and tender an apology. "But if I prove that there are problems, will you make a Dalit the Chief Minister," she stated.
On the BJP's claim that it has proof of KCR's corruption, she wanted to know why the BJP was not making it public. Referring to Telangana Congress President Revanth Reddy's statement describing YSRTP as an NGO, she said she agrees with him as an NGO means a non-profit organisation which serves the society. "I don't know blackmailing, extortion and corruption like him," she said.
"Will someone caught red handed have any credibility," Sharmila asked, referring to Revanth Reddy's arrest in the 'note for vote' case.