The BJP and TRS took digs at each other on Saturday over the celebrations marking the annexing of the erstwhile Nizam-ruled Hyderabad state to the Union of India, with the former slamming votebank politics behind the lack of official commemoration so far while the ruling party warned against communal forces trying to divide the society.
Union Minister Amit Shah took a veiled dig at TRS and its supremo, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, saying it is unfortunate the ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’ has not been celebrated officially all these years in Telangana due to ”vote bank politics” despite some leaders promising to do so.
Rao charged ”disruptive forces” with distorting the occasion of September 17 to fulfill their narrow and selfish political interests.
The TRS hit back, slamming Shah for trying to ”divide and bully.” While the Centre celebrated the ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day,’ the state government had opted for the nomenclature ”Telangana Jateeya Samaikyata Dinotsavam” (Telangana National Integration Day).
”…when there was a demand in the region that Hyderabad Liberation Day be celebrated with government endorsement, it is unfortunate that, 75 years are over, but those who were in government here could not dare celebrate Hyderabad Liberation Day due to vote bank politics,” Shah charged.
He was speaking at the Union Government’s official celebration of ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’ to mark the occasion of erstwhile princely State under Nizam rule merging with the Indian Union on September 17, 1948, following a police action codenamed ”Operation Polo.” In an apparent reference to Chief Minister Rao, Shah said many people had promised during elections and agitations to commemorate the day but went back on them after coming to power.
”Many people had made promises, during elections and during agitations. But, after coming to power, they turned back due to the fear of ‘Razakars’ (armed supporters of Nizam rule),” he said.
He congratulated Prime Minister Modi for his decision to officially celebrate the day.
Shah said he is not surprised but happy that everybody now celebrates the day after Modi took the decision.
”They celebrate the day. But, it is not called ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’. There is still fear in the mind. I would like to tell them that remove that fear. ‘Razakars’ cannot make decisions in this country. It has been 75 years since this country got independence,” he said.
Shah credited the country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for the liberation of Hyderabad and said the erstwhile princely state might not have joined India by 1948, but for the former’s efforts.
He told the people of Telangana and also those who cannot call the day as ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’ that not paying tributes to the thousands of martyrs amounts to their betrayal.
Chief Minister KCR, as Rao is known, hit out at communal forces trying to foment trouble.
Addressing a gathering after unfurling the national flag to mark the Telangana National Integration Day, Rao said if religious fanaticism grows, it will destroy the very life of the nation and result in deterioration of human relationships.
Rao, a strident critic of the BJP, noted that religious fanaticism was on the upsurge.
”They plant thorns in societal relations for their narrow interests. They are spreading hatred among people with their venomous comments. This kind of division between people is in no way justified.” His remarks came minutes after Shah hoisted the national flag at parade grounds.
The Telangana government had on September 3 announced its decision to observe September 17 as Telangana National Integration Day.
Slamming ‘disruptive forces’ for distorting the occasion, he said such forces which have no connection with the historical events of September 17 were trying to distort and pollute the bright history of Telangana with petty politics.
”The Telangana society actively responds in the most intellectual way. The same activeness and intelligence should be shown again. The insidious efforts of these evil and corrupt forces, which are trying to sever the fabric of the nation, must be thwarted. I warn you once again that there is a danger that the society will be thrown into turmoil even if it is forgotten in a blink of an eye,” KCR said.
State Minister for IT and Industries, K T Rama Rao charged Shah with trying to ‘divide and bully’.
In a tweet, he said, ”74 years ago, A Union Home Minister (Sardar Patel) came to UNITE & INTEGRATE the People of Telangana into Indian union, Today A Union Home Minister has come to DIVIDE & BULLY The People of Telangana & their state Govt. That’s why I say, India needs DECISIVE POLICIES Not DIVISIVE POLITICS.” State Congress president and MP A Revanth Reddy unfurled the tricolour at Gandhi Bhavan, party headquarters in Telangana, and kicked off the ”diamond jubilee celebration of Telangana’s Independence”.
CPI leaders said the Hyderabad State had merged with the Indian Union due to the ‘Telangana armed struggle’ of the Communists.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) celebrated the ”merger day” at its office NTR Bhavan in the city. TDP’s Telangana unit president Bakkina Narasimhulu hoisted the National Flag on the occasion.