The BJP and TRS are locking horns over how September 17, the day the last Nizam of Hyderabad surrendered himself to the Indian Union in 1948, should be remembered.

The NDA Government has announced that September 17 would officially be celebrated as Telangana Liberation Day and has nudged the State government to follow suit.

However, refusing to toe the Centre’s line, the TRS Government announced that it would observe the day as National Integration Day. The Congress party on its part has wondered why the State Government is refusing to celebrate the day as the State’s Independence Day.

At an event organised by the Union Government to mark the ‘Liberation Day’ at the Parade Grounds in Secunderabad, Union Home Minister Amit Shah took the salute of the armed forces and paid tributes to the martyrs.

He said the people of Telangana got its independence a year after the rest of the country was freed from British rule. “The then Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel defeated the Nizam’s army and liberated the State from his oppressive rule,” he said.

Telangana IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao flayed the BJP and the Home Minister for their “divisive politics”. “Seventy four years ago, a Union Home Minister came to (Hyderabad) to unite and integrate the people of Telangana with the Indian Union. Today a Union Home Minister has come to divide and bully the people of Telangana and the State Government,” he said in a tweet, referring to Amit Shah’s visit to Hyderabad.

Federal spirit compromised

At a conference earlier in the day, he alleged that the Centre has violated the federal spirit and unilaterally announced its plan to celebrate the day as ‘Liberation Day’ without consulting the State government.

To score a point over the Union Government and BJP, the State Government launched a publicity campaign a week ago and organised rallies across the State. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao attended a public meeting at the NTR Stadium in Hyderabad.

After paying tributes to the martyrs at the historic Gun Park, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao addressed a gathering at the Public Gardens where he cautioned people about the “narrow-minded divisive forces” which were trying to damage the social fabric.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao addressing people at the Telangana Jaateeya Samaikhyata Vajrotsavaalu meeting at the NTR Stadium in Hyderabad on Saturday

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao addressing people at the Telangana Jaateeya Samaikhyata Vajrotsavaalu meeting at the NTR Stadium in Hyderabad on Saturday | Photo Credit:

Animated arguments

The run-up for the day witnessed animated arguments and counter-arguments between the two parties over the last two weeks. Activists of the two parties have painted the city with saffron and pink, erecting banners on all the major roads.

Heavy movement of VIPs and supporters of the two parties from different parts of the State threw the traffic out of gear in the twin cities.

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