BJP and TRS prepare to fight for release day

‘Telangana Vimochana Diwas’ vs. ‘Telangana Samaikyata Dinotsavam’ is the latest in the BJP-TRS battle unfolding in the state ahead of assembly elections next year.

On Saturday, as the Chief Minister of Telangana, K Chandrasekhar Rao, unfurls the national flag in public gardens as part of the three-day “Diamond Jubilee of Telangana National Integration” event, the Minister of Interior Amit Shah will inaugurate the year at the Secunderabad Parade Ground. long commemoration of “Telangana Liberation Day”, sponsored by the Centre.

The central BJP and TRS state governments are holding the separate events for the first time, amid growing confrontation between them over various issues and repeated KCR attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s style of governance.

Read | KCR decides to appoint a new secretariat after BR Ambedkar

The contest between the rival political parties is over the title, the salutation bestowed on the historic day of September 17, which this year marks the 74th anniversary of the Nizam’s annexation of Hyderabad State with India, 13 months after the nation gained independence from Britain.

The event was preceded by a widespread armed uprising led by the Communists and involving farmers and other commoners against the Nizam and his private militia called Razakars accused of committing atrocities against Hindus.

However, the Nizam only agreed to sign the instrument of accession after a five-day Polo operation, aka “police action”, when Indian troops, overseen by India’s prime interior minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, marched in Hyderabad State.

The BJP wants the day to be commemorated as the moment of the liberation of the largely Hindu population of Hyderabad, which then also included parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra, from the “tyrannical rule of the Nizam”. He touts “Iron-man” Patel as the liberator of Hyderabad.

Interestingly, TRS leader Rao, who had previously called on the united PA leadership to officially celebrate the vimochana divas, changed tack once he became the new chief minister of Telangana state. (which was ruled entirely by Nizam) in 2014.

BJP leaders and cadres have pressured the KCR with the same exactingness, with unrest and same-day raids on government offices for the past eight years.

Read also | TRS slams BJP’s double standards on ‘free’

BJP leaders from state to national level attribute KCR’s refusal to its affinity with AIMIM and fear of offending Muslim voters.

But, as he faces the onslaught of the BJP and the Centre’s decision to officially celebrate Telangana’s liberation, CM Rao has finally agreed to recognize ‘Telangana’s transition from autocratic rule to democratic governance’ .

And refusing the BJP’s vimochana concept, KCR named the Telangana event Jaatiya Samaikyata Vajrotsavam, which will also be held next year when the annexation turns 75.

Ahead of Shah’s visit, state IT, Industry Minister KT Rama Rao accused the BJP of digging up past events to drive a religious divide between communities.

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