The Telangana Cabinet which met at Pragati Bhavan in Hyderabad on Saturday, 3 September, decided to organise Telangana National Integration Diamond Jubilee celebrations for three days beginning on 16 September.
The day the region was integrated into the Indian Union, 17 September, would be celebrated as Telangana National Integration day.
These celebrations are clearly meant to neutralise the BJP’s Telangana Liberation Day celebrations that the saffron party is kicking off on 17 September, the day Telangana was liberated from the Nizam’s rule, or Hyderabad state was integrated into the Indian Union — whichever way one wants to look at it.
The Cabinet stated on record that it was on this day 75 years ago that Telangana had merged with the Indian Union, which was a transition from monarchy to democracy, and therefore the occasion should be celebrated in a befitting manner.
The Diamond Jubilee celebrations will end with three days of festivities on the same days in 2023.
The BJP celebrations
Though it is called the “Telangana Liberation Day”, successive state governments have not yielded to pressure from the BJP to officially celebrate it. It has remained an affair limited to the BJP and its frontal organisations.
With the saffron party now intensifying its efforts to upset the TRS in the political arena with elections due in a year, it appears to have decided to utilise the occasion to build on its agenda and paint the TRS as one pandering to Muslims.
As part of the BJP’s plans for the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is slated to receive a guard of honour from Central armed forces at an event to be held at the Parade Grounds in Secunderabad.
The chief ministers of Maharashtra and Karnataka, Eknath Shinde and Basavraj Bommai, have also been invited.
Rallies in all Assembly constituency HQs
On 16 September, students and youth would take out rallies in all Assembly constituency headquarters.
On 17 September, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao will unfurl the national flag at Public Gardens while ministers and officials will do likewise all over the state.
The same day in Hyderabad, Banjara Bhavan and Adivasi Bhavan would be inaugurated. A huge procession would be taken out from People’s Plaza on Necklace Road to Tank Bund and then to the NTR stadium, which will culminate in a public meeting to be addressed by KCR.
On 18 September, freedom fighters would be felicitated in all the district headquarters. Poets and artists would be honoured. Cultural programmes would be held all over to capture the spirit of national integration.
500 more Dalit Bandhu beneficiaries per Assembly seat
In another decision, the Cabinet cleared a proposal to organise coordination meetings with officials concerned in all districts to resolve the problems relating to podu lands on which both the forest department and tribals lay claim, which is leading to clashes.
The Cabinet also cleared a proposal to clean up an additional 33 tmcft of drinking water supplies to Hyderabad from Sunkisala. The Cabinet sanctioned ₹2,214 crore for this purpose.
The Cabinet cleared another proposal to increase the number of beneficiaries of the Dalit Bandhu scheme by 500 in each Assembly constituency. The officials have been asked to prepare the list of beneficiaries immediately.
Other Telangana Cabinet decisions
Another decision is to increase the number of co-option members in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and other municipal corporations. In GHMC, the number will go up to 15 from the present five, and in other corporations from five to 10.
The Cabinet okayed the allotment of land for building courts in 21 towns that are the headquarters for the newly created 21 districts.
The Cabinet also wanted the construction of colonies for 2,016 families who were affected by the Godavari floods in Bhadrachalam.
Legislature Party meeting
Later in the evening, Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao exuded confidence that the TRS would win Munugode by-election hands down.
The chief minister, speaking at the TRS Legislature Party meeting, said: “There is no way either the BJP or the Congress winning the seat. In fact, the Congress will come second in the by-election,” KCR is reported to have said.
The chief minister is understood to have also been optimistic about winning the next Assembly elections. He said the surveys he had commissioned were saying that the wind was blowing in favour of the TRS. The TRS is sure to win at least 96 seats and no MLA should entertain any doubt over the party’s prospects.
He reportedly advised the TRS not to be afraid of any central investigation agencies and that party workers should not allow themselves to be browbeaten by the BJP.
The saffron party’s politics will not work in Telangana as they do in other states, he said.
At the same time, he said TRS leaders should always be above board, giving no scope for the central agencies to swoop in.