TDP leader Lokesh‘s Yuvagalam padayatra, which started from Chittoor and will conclude in Kadapa, is an important political strategy for the party. Rayalaseema comprises four districts, with Chittoor and Anantapur being dominated by the Non-Reddy community, while Kurnool and Kadapa are dominated by the Reddy community.
Lokesh’s visits to Kurnool and Kadapa as part of the padayatra hold political significance. In the 2019 elections, the YSRCP campaigned against the Telugu Desam by portraying it as being against the Reddy community, which helped the YSRCP gain an advantage. The TDP utilized Lokesh’s padayatra to counter these allegations.
During his visit to Kurnool, Lokesh organized a meeting with the “Reddy brothers,” and now, in Kadapa, he held a second meeting with the Reddy community members. The interactions with the Reddy community have been interesting, as they raised similar issues faced by other communities in the past four years.
Lokesh stated that if the TDP comes to power, government will address the alleged illegal activities against the Reddy community. This meeting indirectly signals to the people that the Jagan government has been unfair to the Reddy community as well. It seems that Lokesh, after his meeting with the Reddy community people in Mantralayam, has earned their respect and admiration.
They have started referring to him as “Lokesh Reddy” as a sign of their appreciation for his humility and ability to connect with the community without any ego. This title or nickname likely signifies their recognition of his efforts and his positive rapport with the Reddy community.They owned Lokesh like anything during his marathon.
In a bold move, Lokesh challenged the YSRCP by holding a placard that read “Who Killed Babai?” (referring to his father) in Proddatur. This action was unexpected in a strong YSRCP stronghold, including among the TDP cadre. Surprisingly, Lokesh’s padayatra in Kadapa has been more successful than in the other three districts of Rayalaseema.
Lokesh’s visits have the potential to bring about a change among Reddy community voters, and he may be able to break the strong vote bank of the YSRCP with his engagement. The exact percentage of this potential change is unknown and will be revealed in the election results.