High Drama at Telangana Bhavan over Diksha Divas
Police deny permission for BRS meet citing EC orders and Section 144
Hyderabad: High drama prevailed at Telangana Bhavan, the BRS headquarters in the city, on the occasion of Diksha Divas on Wednesday. The party leadership gave a call to BRS leaders and cadre to observe November 29 as Deeksha Divas across the state to commemorate the commencement of fast-unto-death agitation by party chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao on November 29, 2009, demanding statehood for Telangana. The agitation forced the then Congress-led UPA government at the Centre to make a statement on initiating the process of formation of Telangana state on December 9, 2009.
BRS working president K.T. Rama Rao was scheduled to take part in the event at Telangana Bhavan at 10.30 am. However, police prevented the entry of party leaders and workers into Telangana Bhavan, citing the election code and imposition of Section 144. This led to heated arguments between police and BRS leaders.
BRS general secretary Soma Bharat spoke to police and Election Commission of India (ECI) officials over the phone and raised strong objections over denying permission to observe Diksha Divas. Finally, the police officials in consultation with EC officials allowed them to hold the event in a low-key manner inside the building.
Due to a lack of clarity on whether the ECI would allow Diksha Divas at Telangana Bhavan or not, Rama Rao did not arrive at the venue at the scheduled time of 10.30 am. He arrived at 12 noon after he was informed that the ECI and police officials gave the permission to hold the event.
Rama Rao paid floral tributes to the statues of Telangana Talli and Prof Jayashankar in the premises and later took part in a blood donation camp. He donated blood on the occasion.
Later speaking to media persons, Rama Rao took strong exception to ECI obstructing the Diksha Divas citing the election code. "Telangana Bhavan is our party's head office. What's wrong if we hold Diksha Divas in our party office? We are not holding Diksha Divas in any public place. Why should the EC have any objection?" Rama Rao asked.
Stating that the BRS was observing Diksha Divas every year for the past 13 years, Rama Rao said, "We are not observing Disha Divas for the sake of Assembly polls or to gain political mileage in the Assembly polls. We have been observing this day for the past 13 years. This day holds historical significance not just for our party but for the entire Telangana because our leader’s fast-unto-death agitation on November 29, 2009, ignited Telangana statehood agitation and forced the UPA government to make a favourable statement on the formation of Telangana state on December 9, 2009."