September 17 is a red-letter day for Telangana, and this election year, it has gained more significance with political parties scheduling important events. The credit for the biggest show will go to the Congress, which will be conducting its two-day Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting from September 16.
The excitement is palpable at Gandhi Bhawan in Nampally as national-level leaders are arriving to oversee the arrangements of the meeting, which is being held in Hyderabad after more than 15 years. On the lines of Karnataka, the Telangana Congress will release five guarantees for the state. It will also release a “charge sheet” against the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi.
On September 17, the Congress has scheduled a mega rally, which will be attended by party president Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former party president Rahul Gandhi, and other senior leaders. On September 18, the CWC members will interact with local leaders in different constituencies.
The then Hyderabad state was annexed to the Indian Union on September 17, 1948. While the BJP marks it as Liberation Day, the BRS and Congress observe it as National Integration Day. That is why, holding the mega rally on the same day gains significance. The Congress has also been highlighting the fact that its president Kharge’s parents had been killed by Razakars, the paramilitary force of the Nizams.
A tussle has already ensued between the Congress and BJP over the venue of their programmes. Telangana Congress chief Revanth Reddy has alleged that the BJP got permission to hold its Liberation Day celebrations on the Parade Grounds in Secunderabad despite his party applying for the venue first to hold its rally.
On Wednesday, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary KC Venugopal arrived in Hyderabad to review the CWC arrangements. He scouted various venues along with senior leaders and convened a meeting late at night to decide on one.
The BJP has announced week-long celebrations from September 17 to mark Liberation Day and also Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday. Union home minister Amit Shah will be the chief guest at the programme. The party’s Telangana unit chief Kishan Reddy had said that freedom fighters would be felicitated to mark the celebrations.
Though the BRS, which marks September 17 as Integration Day, has not announced any plans yet, sources say that MLC K Kavitha is planning a rally. She also wants to make her demand for a women’s reservation bill heard when there are national leaders in the city.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi has announced a bike rally on September 17 to mark Integration Day.