In the political arena, certain things are always considered as make or break moments for politicians. In Telugu states, there is a prevailing sentiment that whoever undertakes a padayatra becomes a CM. This was proved with YSR who undertook a historic walkathon in the year 2003. This was followed by TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu in 2012-2013 and the same was repeated again by YSRCP chief Jagan Mohan Reddy during 2017-18. In fact, padyathra was a golden chance for Jagan to go into the people and explain his agenda.
Apart from the fact that this is like a sentiment, there is also a fact that it gives the politician a chance to meet people from every nook and corner, listen to their issues and address their concerns. It gives a perfect platform for a mass connection. Now it is the turn of CBN's son Lokesh Naidu who has started one such walkathon recently from Kuppam, represented by his father.
The yathra will cover 4000 km in a period of 400 days and as expected, it is being given a lot of hype by the pro-TDP media as if it's a game changer and expected to bring TDP back to power. However, one thing that has to be borne in mind is that this could be a make-or-break chance for the person doing it. This is more or less a final litmus test to check whether the person has any appeal among the masses.
Therefore, Lokesh has taken up this challenge and naturally TDP has a good track in organizing events and creating a constant buzz as if the party is going to make a big miracle. However, given his not so great track in establishing himself as a true leader, it is not easy for Lokesh to keep the buzz and momentum sustained for a long time.
He needs to reinvent himself. Rahul Gandhi has almost succeeded in giving an impression with his Bharat Jodo yathra that he is a new person now. Lokesh has 397 days more to go to prove his credentials and if this walkathon doesn't make him a strong leader, it may be curtains down for him despite whatever CBN does to keep him in limelight.