In what could emerge as yet another flashpoint between the two ruling dispensations — the BJP at the Centre and the TRS in the state — the Union government has decided to officially celebrate the Telangana Liberation Day in a big way on 17 September.
According to information revealed by BJP leaders, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will receive the guard of honour from the 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.
It was on this day in 1948 that the Indian Army took control of Telangana from the Nizam, who continued to rule the region even after India attained Independence a year before. Marathwada and parts of Karnataka were also under the Nizam’s control.
Though it is called the “Telangana Liberation Day”, successive state governments have not yielded to pressure from the BJP to officially celebrate it. It 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.
According to sources, a couple of state ministers reportedly expressed the view that there was nothing in the TRS, too, celebrating the event and thus taking the sting out of the BJP’s strategy.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is understood to have suggested that a decision could be taken at the Cabinet meeting scheduled for Saturday, 3 September.