Thousands gathered at the large ground and roads spilled with traffic headed for Secunderabad to attend the meeting. For the Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s founding day, the city of Hyderabad was awash in the party’s signature pink.
Ministers and leaders from all districts had been given the task of mobilising as many people as they can for the first major event since the party took power in June; chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao or KCR reportedly wanted some 10 lakh people at his grand show at the Parade Grounds. It is another matter that according to senior police officers, the venue could not accommodate more than one lakh.
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KCR, who founded the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in 2001 to campaign for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, was re-elected party president for the eighth time on Friday.
“I went to the jaws of death to make sure we got Telangana.” Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao said in his address today. “I asked people to stone me to death, if I do not deliver Telangana… Now our goal is Bangaru Telangana or golden Telangana.”
It was also an occasion to ridicule the Opposition parties, especially the Telugu Desam Party of Andhra Pradesh chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who has recently conducted meetings in Telangana’s Mahbubnagar. Mr Naidu, KCR said, should worry about Andhra Pradesh instead.
In the build-up to the speeches, senior ministers, including state Home Minister Nayini Narasimha Reddy, were seen dancing at a cultural show. Telangana deputy Speaker Padma Devender Reddy was also seen joining in.
There were traffic restrictions and diversions all around the Parade Grounds.
With the ruling party in a majority, especially with desertions from other parties as well, not many are asking who is footing the bill for the big show.
On Friday, when the TRS held a plenary session, the city of Secunderabad was lit up and even policemen were seen serving food to guests. The chief minister had, however, found the turnout disappointing and ordered a more impressive gathering today.