Unfurling of national flag at the offices of the political parties marked Hyderabad merger day on Saturday. While the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the main opposition Congress and others celebrated merger day, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrated it as “liberation day”. It was on this day in 1948 that erstwhile Hyderabad State merged with the Indian union following “police action”, as the Indian military operation against the Nizam’s army is popularly refered to. The BJP celebrated the day on large scale with “tiranga yatras” in various parts of Telangana. Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir hoisted the national flag and participated in the “yatra” in Adilabad town. BJP President Amit Shah is scheduled to address a public meeting in Warangal on Saturday evening. BJP floor leader in Telangana state assembly, G. Kishan Reddy, tried to unfurl the national flag in the assembly premises but was stopped by the police. Tension also prevailed at Medak district collector office in Sangareddy town as ABVP activists tried to unfurl the national flag. Police arrested them to foil their attempt. Union Minister for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya hoisted the national flag at the BJP office. He alleged that after coming to power Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has gone back on his promise to officially celebrate the day.
He said Prime Minister Narendra has appealed to people to celebrate the “liberation day” in a grand manner. Like the previous governments in undivided Andhra Pradesh, TRS government ignored the demands for officially celebrating the day. The ruling party made it clear that it will not accept September 17 as liberation day and accused BJP of indulging in “divisive politics”. Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy, who unfurled the tricolour at TRS headquarters “Telangana Bhavana”, denied that Chandrasekhar Rao ever promised to celebrate the day officially. Congress state President Uttam Kumar Reddy hoisted the national flag at the party office. He wanted to know why TRS chief was not officially celebrating the day while he used to criticise Congress governments in the past for the same. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) also celebrated the day with a ceremony at its office. TDP state Chief L. Ramna hoisted the tricolour and also called for official celebrations. Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) Chairman M. Kodandaram hoisted the tricolour at the party office to mark the day. He also opposed BJP’s demand for celebrating it as “liberation day” and said it should be called “merger day”. BJP and Hindu right-wing organisations had been calling for officially celebrating “liberation day”. They claim that it is being officially celebrated in those districts of Karnataka and Maharashtra which were part of Hyderabad State. Muslim groups have been opposing any celebrations as they claim that Muslims were massacred during the “police action”. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) always maintained that there is only one Independence Day for the entire country and hence there is no need for separate celebrations in Telangana.