ANANTAPUR (TIP): Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on July 24 began his 10 km-long ‘padyatra’ from a village in the district to highlight the issues faced by farmers and women Self-Help Groups.

Rahul, who has reached out to farmers during similar visits and foot marches in states like Punjab, Maharashtra, Telangana and more recently Rajasthan, kicked off his padayatra from Obuladevara Cheruvu village to Mamilakuntapalli, a three-km stretch, where he is scheduled to have an interaction with farmers, weavers and students.

He kicked off his yatra from the village where Indira Gandhi had addressed a meeting in 1979. During the course of his yatra, he would hold interactions in three villages of the district with farmers, MGNREGS workers and with women SHGs. The leader would also meet the family of farmer Harinath Reddy, who allegedly committed suicide.

“He would walk for 10 kilometres. In fact, (Rahul’s grandmother) Indira Gandhi had addressed a meeting at the village in 1979. There would be three-four interactions with students, farmers and self-help group women,” APCC president N Raghuveera Reddy had said yesterday.

Rahul will undertake his second stretch of padyatra from Mamilakuntapalli to Daburavaripalli (5 kms). Later, he will have an interaction with women SHGs and visit Deburavaripalli habitation.

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The third stretch of Rahul’s padyatra will be between Daburavaripalli to Kondakamarla (2 kms) where he will interact with MGNREGS workers and family members of migrant labourers.

Later, the Congress vice president will go to Puttaparthy and receive representations from people, besides holding interaction with senior Congress leaders. He will also visit the ‘Maha Samadhi’ of Sri Satya Sai Baba. Gandhi’s visit, the first after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, is being seen as an effort to strengthen the party’s base in the state after it drew a blank in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections held in 2014.

The ruling TDP in the state and YSR Congress, had yesterday hit out at Rahul, blaming the Congress for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the “gross injustice” to Semaandhra.

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