She Makes History
Mammoth crowd greets Sharmila as she ends walkathon ‘Maro Prajaprasthanam’ ends at...
Mammoth crowd greets Sharmila as she ends walkathon
- ‘Maro Prajaprasthanam’ ends at Ichapuram
- It was a record of sorts for any woman leader
- A distance of 3,112 km covered in 230 days
- She covered 14 districts and 114 constituencies
Ichapuram: Sunday was a momentous day for YSR Congress Party as its leader Sharmila concluded her 230-day ‘Maro Prajaprasthanam’ padayatra, covering a distance of 3,112 km, here in the presence of thousands of rapturous workers and supporters of the party. Witnessing her historic record were her mother Vijayamma and scores of top leaders of the party. A sea of humanity converged at the spot.
Perhaps, Sharmila is the only political leader in the world to have completed a walkathon of over 3,000 km in 230 days. En route, she covered 14 districts, 114 constituencies, 45 municipalities and nine municipal corporations in the State. The ‘Vastunna Meekosam’ padayatra of TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu lasted 208 days and covered 2,817 km.
Sharmila embarked on the padayatra on October 18, 2012, from Idupulapaya in her native YSR Kadapa district, to counter charges of corruption against her brother and rally the party workers. While launching the grueling campaign on foot, she described as an arrow released by her brother Jaganmohan Reddy. She had to take a break for a brief period as she suffered a fracture.
She crossed the first 100 km at Pedda Kotla (Anantapur district), 500 km at Shantinagar (Mahbubnagar), 1,000 km at Kondaprolu (Nalgonda) , 1,500 km at Pedana (Krishna) and 2,000 km mark at Ravikapadu (West Godavari district) and 2,500 km padayatra at Kakarapalli village in Tune mandal in East Godavari district.
On achieving the historic feat, , Sharmila unveiled the statue of her father and late Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
Incidentally, it was here that the late chief minister's 'Praja Prastanam' was concluded in 2009. The local people were thrilled to witness his daughter repeating the act. An over 80-ft ‘Vijaya Prasthanam’ pylon was erected to mark the conclusion of the padayatra which set a record of sorts.
It's worth mentioning here that no other woman in politics has undertaken such a daunting mission. In fact, it was Jagan who was to undertake the padayatra. However, in lieu of his unavailability, Sharmila took it upon herself to honour her brother's words. Sharmila during her padayatra met thousands of problems and listed to their hardships and tried to lift their spirits, saying Jaganmohan Reddy would come to power one day and ease all their hardships.
Braving a scorching sun or incessant rains, Sharmila accomplished her mission. She walked 11 km on the final day on Sunday to reach the venue of her meeting. 'Jai Jagan', and 'Jai YSR’ slogans rent the air, making it almost inaudible the speeches of YSRCP leaders. In their speeches, the mother-daughter duo made a scathing attack on the Congress party for proposing bifurcation of the State, without adequately addressing the concerns of Seemandhra people regarding resources sharing and Hyderabad. They also lashed out at Chandrababu Naidu for keeping silent on the issue. Sharmila called for a discussion on the Centre’s decision on the State’s division, while pledging the party’s support to the Samaikyandhra struggle.
She charged Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, APCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana and Union ministers with ‘pledging the Telugu pride to Delhi’. “If the state is divided, Seemandhra would become a desert,” she warned. She also hit out at TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, questioning his stand on Andhra employees in Hyderabad.
Vijayamma broke down during her address. She said that the party’s close bonds with the people were further strengthened during the padayatra. The yatra was not intended to create any records. “It was meant to create hope among the people and expose the Congress-TDP machinations,” she added.
No other woman in politics has undertaken such a daunting mission. In fact, it was Jagan who was to undertake the padayatra. However, in lieu of his being in jail, Sharmila took it upon herself to honour her brother's words