Hyderabad, Feb 6 — After a seven-week break due to a knee surgery, YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leader Sharmila Wednesday resumed her ‘padyatra’.
The sister of jailed MP and party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy resumed her walkathon at Turkayamjal in Ranga Reddy district near Hyderabad, where an injury in December had forced her to suspend the ‘padyatra’.
The 37-year-old was given a warm welcome by YSRCP leaders and activists as she reached YSR Gardens along with her mother and party’s honorary president Y.S. Vijayamma and sister-in-law Bharathi.
Earlier, Sharmila left her house here with the blessings of religious leaders from various faiths in the presence of YSRCP leaders and family members.
The YSRCP leader had launched the ‘padyatra’ Oct 18 from the grave of her late father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in Kadapa district and had covered four districts.
She had embarked on 3,000-km walkathon to boost the morale of the party in the absence of his brother, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a disproportionate assets case in May last year.
Sharmila was drawing good crowds during her walkathon, aimed at targeting both ruling Congress and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
Emulating her late father, Sharmila launched the ‘padyatra’ a few days after TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu embarked on a 2,320 km-long walkathon to interact with the people and to strengthen the party ahead of 2014 elections.
Rajasekhara Reddy had walked 1,500 km across the state in 2003 and this walkathon helped the Congress party to come to power in 2004.
However, Sharmila may face protests in Telangana this time as pro-Telangana groups are demanding that she make her party’s stand clear on the demand for separate statehood to the region.
Telangana Jagruthi leader Kavita has already threatened to disrupt her yatra.
Sharmila is also resuming the ‘padyatra’ at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded a CBI probe into the assets owned by her and her husband Anil Kumar, an evangelist.
BJP has alleged that they amassed huge wealth through misuse of power when Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister.