Telangana Formation Day fete: Sonia Gandhi may skip; KCR decides to boycott, calls CM undemocratic

KCR hit out at the Congress party accusing it of making attempts to remove certain symbols said to be pride to the region.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jun 01, 2024 | 10:32 PM Updated Jun 01, 2024 | 11:02 PM

Telangana Formation Day

Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi might not be attending the decennial celebrations of Telangana State Formation Day on Sunday, 2 June while former CM K Chandrasekhar Rao and his party have decided to boycott the fete.

According to Congress sources, she is at present indisposed and may not be able to undertake the journey to Hyderabad at a time when mercury is soaring beyond 50 degrees Celsius in Delhi. Her absence during the celebrations might come as a dampener to the Congress leaders, who are celebrating the occasion with enthusiasm as the ruling party members.

Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy had hoped to consolidate his position in the party by organizing the celebrations on a grand scale and projecting Sonia Gandhi as the greatest benefactor of the Telangana people by gifting a separate state to them.

Idea to accord Sonia Gandhi a cult status

The idea was to accord her a cult status, dimming the memory of his arch-rival and BRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao’s contribution to the formation of Telangana. Though Sonia Gandhi may not be present physically at the celebrations, the leaders are planning to play her video message wishing the very best to the people on the occasion.

The Chief Minister flew to Delhi and invited Sonia Gandhi on 28 May to be present at the Telangana Formation Day celebrations. He later said that she had in principle consented to visit Hyderabad but now it appears she may not be able to make it as she seems to be indisposed.

Though the unveiling of a new emblem for the state had been deferred, the state anthem written by Dalit Poet Ande Sri is expected to be released at the celebrations. Roping in Oscar-fame Bollywood music director MM Keeravani, who hails from Kovur in West Godavari district, has caused a flutter with the Telangana protagonists taking a serious exception to the involvement of a music director of Andhra origin.

Meanwhile, the CM drove to Raj Bhavan earlier in the day and invited Governor CP Radhakrishnan to the event.

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KCR to boycott celebrations

The CM set aside the serious political differences with former CM K Chandrasekhar Rao and invited him to attend the celebrations. He sent protocol advisor Harkara Venugopal and director Arvind Singh on his behalf to invite the former CM on Friday, 31 May.

Transport Minister Ponnam Prabhakar, who arrived in Hyderabad from his visit to the United States, said that when the BRS was in power, it had never invited the Congress leaders to the State Formation Day celebrations in the last 10 years but that the Congress on the other hand, exhibited sportive spirit and invited KCR.

However, alleging that the state was ruined during the past six months of the Congress regime, the former Chief Minister said on the eve of Telangana Formation Day that he and his party will not attend the decennial celebrations organised by the state government at Parade Grounds in Hyderabad on 2 June.

In a hard-hitting letter to Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy, Chandrasekhar Rao said that the actual intention for inviting him to the celebrations was to insult him as his name was not on the list of speakers. He said that there was no way he could share his experiences of his struggle for Telangana state with the people.

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Revanth Reddy undemocratic, anti-Telangana: KCR

“I had struggled for Telangana state. I had to bring several parties together at the national level to lend support to the Telangana movement. I resigned from the central cabinet and as an MP for the Telangana cause. I kept my life on the line by going on fast until death. The way you have invited me did not reflect any respect for the role I had played in the movement,” he said.

The former CM, in a 22-page long statement, hit out at the Congress and Revanth Reddy for their anti-Telangana stance since the beginning. He said that Telangana protagonists and BRS activists were of the view that the incumbent government was acting in a dictatorial manner by stamping out dissidence and heaping contumely on the very struggle for the state.

He said that by not inviting BRS, which was at the forefront of the Telangana movement, the CM had exposed his undemocratic character.

KCR further said that Revanth Reddy, by deciding to set up the statues of the “Congress elders” at a place in front of the state secretary was an affront to the quintessence of the Telangana movement since it was a place earmarked for setting up of Telangana Thalli statue. KCR also recalled Revanth Reddy’s move to remove the relics of Telangana grandeur from the official emblem of the state, which he said was yet another attempt to deride the Telangana movement.

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Congress re-writing Telangana’s history

The BRS supremo said that he deprecates the move of Revanth Reddy and the Congress to paint a picture that the Telangana state became a reality because of the generosity of Sonia Gandhi and not due to the struggle and sacrifices of the people of Telangana.

He said it was being shown as though Telangana was a crumb thrown at the people by Sonia Gandhi, which unravels the arrogant nature of the party.

The former CM also recounted how he fought for Telangana, how the present government was trying to ride roughshod over the rights of the people and its refusal to coalesce with the Telangana movement. “Has Revanth Reddy, after becoming the CM, visited Telangana Martyrs Memorial at Gun Park or paid tributes to them?” he asked.

The BRS supremo said that the state government had not implemented the promises it had made to the people on the eve of the Assembly elections and now was remaining indifferent to the misery and privation of the farmers who had lost their standing crops, the textile workers who were ending their lives after losing livelihood and those of the students who were suffering due to the delay in the release of notifications for recruitment to vacancies in the government departments.

Listing out the alleged failures of the Congress party, KCR said the state government failed in implementing its poll promises and the state’s image was being dented by “power cuts.” He also said he hoped that the state government would strive for the welfare of the people and fulfil all the poll promises the grand old party made.

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Hyderabad on the eve of celebrations

On the eve of Telangana Formation Day, the entire city looked decked up. Important places like the State Secretariat, the Tank Bund, the NTR Marg and the Necklace Road are lit up. The Tank Bund, the main centre of activity for celebrations on the evening of 2 June, is being readied for the big event.

The entire city will be aglow in iridescent colours by nightfall. A spectacular display of pyrotechnics in the skyline of historic Hussain Sagar will be a major attraction. It would be the last item of the celebration.

Meanwhile, the BRS is organising a rival Telangana State Formation Day celebration. The three-day event began with a candlelight rally from Telangana Martyrs Memorial at Gun Park to Tank Bund. The party has organized calefactions at Telangana Bhavan on 2 June and on 3 June and it plans to organise calefactions in all districts.

(Edited by Neena)