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With Cong in power, Telangana gearing up for a different Formation Day celebration

Hyderabad : The 10th Formation Day of Telangana will be different from the earlier occasions, with both ruling Congress and main Opposition Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) vying with each other to celebrate it in a befitting manner.

This is the first Telangana Formation Day celebration after BRS lost power to the Congress.

While the Congress is going all out to organise a grand celebration by inviting its top leader Sonia Gandhi, the BRS has also lined up a series of events to mark the occasion.

Ever since Telangana came into existence in 2014, both Congress and BRS have been claiming credit for its formation.

While the Congress says that it was the initiative of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) which realised the long-cherished dream of the people of Telangana, TRS (now BRS) maintains that the credit goes to its leader K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), who led the mass movement, forcing then Congress-led UPA government to carve out the state.

Victory in the 2014 elections, held a few weeks before the formal creation of Telangana state, gave TRS a chance to position itself as the champion of the Telangana cause.

It projected itself as the only party dedicated to the cause of Telangana’s development and welfare.

By retaining power in 2018, KCR further consolidated his position. However, the victory in Assembly elections held in November 2023 has finally given a chance to the Congress to stake claim for Telangana’s creation.

The Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy-led government appears to be making full use of this opportunity.

In every election held since 2014, the Congress projected Sonia Gandhi as the ‘mother of Telangana’ who heard the people’s voice and fulfilled their aspirations.

Its leaders tried to impress upon the people that she carved out Telangana state despite knowing fully well that the Congress will suffer politically in Andhra Pradesh.

In the recent elections, CM Reddy and other Congress leaders had urged the people to bring the Congress to power as their gratitude to Sonia ‘amma’ (mother) for delivering a separate state for them.

It’s no wonder that after coming to power the Congress decided to invite former party chief, Sonia Gandhi, to the main event to be held on June 2.

The state Cabinet decided to felicitate her in recognition of the key role played by her in the formation of the state.

CM Reddy visited Delhi a few days ago to invite her and she accepted the invitation.

Sonia Gandhi will participate in the main event at Parade Ground Secunderabad with the hoisting of the national flag, a parade and a march past by police contingents. This will be her second visit to Telangana after Congress stormed to power in the state.

She along with former Congress chief, Rahul Gandhi and senior leader Priyanka Gandhi, had attended the swearing-in ceremony of the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues on December 7 at LB Stadium.

CM Reddy had arrived for the oath-taking ceremony with Sonia Gandhi in a flower-bedecked open-top vehicle.

At the state formation day celebrations, the Congress government will also felicitate those who participated in the movement for Telangana state.

It is likely to honour those who sidelined by the BRS government.

Political analysts say as KCR dominated the politics of India’s youngest state for the last 10 years and built his image as ‘father of Telangana’, CM Reddy is keen to counter this narrative.

It’s for this reason that CM Reddy reversed the decisions of the BRS government.

He replaced ‘TS’ with ‘TG’ as the state’s abbreviation.

The Congress government also approved a new state anthem, which will be released at the formation day event.

CM Revanth also wanted to unveil a new emblem in place of the existing one designed by the KCR government.

However, his move to remove Kakatiya Kala Thoranam (Kakatiya arch) and Charminar from the emblem ran into problems with the BRS threatening state-wide protests.

As the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) too opposed the move to remove Charminar, the Congress government dropped plans to unveil a new emblem saying a decision will be taken after discussion in the Assembly.

The Chief Minister has already decided to have a new statue of ‘Telangana Thalli’ (mother Telangana), replacing the one designed by the previous government.

The BRS has also announced plans to celebrate the state formation day with three-day-long festivities.

The BRS leaders will take out a candlelight rally from Telangana Martyrs’ Memorial at Gun Park to the Amara Jyoti memorial built by the BRS government in honour of those who sacrificed their lives in the Telangana movement.

The main celebrations will be held on June 2 at BRS headquarters Telangana Bhavan.

Though CM Reddy has invited KCR to the main official celebration, the latter is not likely to attend it. KCR will address the event to be held at Telangana Bhavan.

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