Telangana guv targets KCR govt at state’s R-Day event
Originally to be held in Secunderabad, the parade was held on Thursday morning at Raj Bhavan itself. Chief Minister Rao and members of his cabinet however stayed away, with state chief secretary Shanti Kumari, Director General of Police Anjani Kumar and other officials in attendance
A day after the Telangana High Court directed the state government to conduct Republic Day celebrations in line with the union government’s guidelines, Telangana governor Tamilsai Soundarajan in her address seemed to take potshots at the state government, and said that development was not restricted to creating new structures but building a new nation, and not the construction of “farmhouses for a few people”, but housing for the poor.
The Telangana government led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao have been at loggerheads with governor Soundarajan after it had initially called off the parade citing the Covid-19 pandemic, a move the latter had objected to.
On Wednesday, acting on a public interest litigation filed by advocate K Srinivas, a single judge bench of Justice P Madhavi Devi had rejected the government’s contention, and directed that all arrangements for Republic Day celebrations, including the ceremonial parade and a guard of honour for the Governor be held as per central guidelines. The bench however left the location of the celebration to the discretion of the state government.
Originally to be held in Secunderabad, the parade was held on Thursday morning at Raj Bhavan itself. Chief Minister Rao and members of his cabinet however stayed away, with state chief secretary Shanti Kumari, Director General of Police Anjani Kumar and other officials in attendance.
In her address, Soundarajan said, “What we need now is not construction of farmhouses for a few people, but provision of housing for the poor and farmlands to farmers. Farmers are committing suicides in large numbers and this has to be prevented.”
Soundarajan said that the spirit of the Constitution must not be ignored, and should instead be protected and respected. “Telangana state too was formed as per the Constitution of India. When I say this, some people might not like me. But I like all the people of Telangana people,” she said. The governor also felicitated the music director of ‘RRR’ MM Keeravani and lyricist Chandrabose, days after the song “Naatu Naatu” was nominated for an Oscar.
Senior minister T Srinivasa Yadav took strong objection to the remarks and said that President of India Draupadi Murmu should take action against Soundarajan as she had made inappropriate comments against the government in the presence of top officials.
Later, during an informal interaction with journalists at Raj Bhavan during the customary “At Home” gathering, Soundarajan said that she had expected Chief Minister Rao to be absent from the Republic Day celebrations. “Two months ago I wrote a letter to the government saying that this time the programme should be conducted in a grand manner with public participation at the Secunderabad parade grounds. But there was no response. Two days ago, the government wrote to me, saying I should unfurl the national flag at Raj Bhavan itself,” she said.
She also alleged that the state government had undermined the celebrations by making low-key without any public participation. “They did not follow the guidelines from the central government,” Soundarajan said.
BRS official spokesman and MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy however said that the government had conducted the Republic Day celebrations as per norms. “There is no politics involved in it, as the decision to hold the function at Raj Bhavan was taken only in the wake of Covid-19 restrictions,” he said.
He said the state government had the power to decide on the scale of the Republic Day festivities. “We have never undermined the governor, though she is not cooperating with the state government by sitting on the bills approved by the state legislature,” Reddy said.