November 6, 2017
Vempalle, YSR District:
My Padayatra has begun from Idupulapaya. First, I sought my late father's blessings. I closed my eyes as I touched his Samadhi. I prayed for his blessings. I know his blessings would always be with me. The eight years that went by after he departed, flashed before my eyes. Deaths of hundreds of heart-broken people who could not digest the great leader's demise, my decision to console the kin of each one of them, the Congress High Command's objections and my resolve to be true to my family tradition of standing by the word it gave, how they all ganged up against me and how they tried every trick in the trade to harass me, flashed before my eyes. Amid all, I heard my heart beat tell me that I did not swerve from the path I had chosen. I am sure, my father too would have have reassured me that I have a huge family standing behind me rock like all through these vicissitudes.
From here, the long march has begun. I took the first step. There was unbound
ed enthusiasm all around. Unprecedented crowds gushing forth like an unceasing torrent. There were people everywhere -- on the tree branches, along the way and all over the place. There was a determination in their voice. A firm resolve in their eyes. I lent my voice too and announced that I too have a firm resolve and explained it. They backed me with a roar of approval.
Since it was the first day, there were a large number of party workers and supporters. Yet, locals managed to wind their way and greeted me. This is Pulivendula constituency and they have steadfastly remained with my family for over four decades. I am familiar with every inch of this land. I know the problems these people are facing. Their hopes and aspirations are my life breath.
Surabhi, the village that unfurled the glorious banner of Telugu drama centuries ago, is at a stone's throw distance from here. I silently offered my tributes to those unforgettable artistes. After the great leader passed away, the progress and development of the whole state have come to a screeching halt. Pulivendula is no exception. The late YSR had set up the prestigious veterinary research institute. The present Government has completely neglected this project which can win laurels from all corners of the world. The IIIT at Idupulapaya, meant to make high quality professional courses accessible to the poor and the lower middle class, too is suffering neglect. With Pothireddypadu flood canal works in cold storage, irrigation projects like Gandikota, Lingala and Simhadripuram Lift Irrigation Scheme have come to a halt. Had the great leader been alive today, these villages, region and the state would have scaled great heights. His lofty aims need to be achieved.
We broke for lunch at a place near Idupulapaya. By evening, we trekked 10 km and reached Vempalle, where we halted for the night. There were kind and pleasant showers before seeking my late father's blessings and again in the afternoon. They were like propitious benedictions being showered from above. I felt God was blessing me in my endeavour.