TS Liberation Day festivities to be held at Parade Ground, Congress cries foul
New low', says TPCC leader, rapping BJP for denying space to its top leaders
HYDERABAD: The Parade Ground in Secunderabad, ownership of which lies with the Union defence ministry, but one that is allowed to be used by political parties for their rallies, has emerged as a bone of contention between the Congress and the BJP.
The Congress is upset that its request for using the Parade Ground on September 17 for a mega rally to be addressed by its leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi has not been approved, with authorities citing plans by the Centre to hold official celebrations of the Telangana Liberation Day at the same venue, on the same date.
Originally, the expectation was that the Liberation Day celebrations would be held in Warangal, but the change of plan was announced by Union minister and BJP state president G. Kishan Reddy on Tuesday.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee working president Mahesh Kumar Goud told reporters: “We applied for permission on September 2 itself to hold our meeting in Parade Ground on September 17. But the news that the grounds will now be used for a meeting to be addressed by Union home minister Amit Shah on September 17 smacks of ill-will and shows how disconcerted the BJP is with the rising graph of the Congress in Telangana.”
He added: “This is a new low in politics.”
Earlier in the day, Kishan Reddy, addressing a press conference on the ‘Meri Maati-Mera Desh’ programme, said the Liberation Day programme by the Union government will be held at Parade Ground. Asked if this would not clash with the Congress’ plans to hold its event on the same day at the same venue, Kishan Reddy said the Liberation Day celebration was an official Government of India event and it was not a BJP event.
“The BJP may claim anything it wants to, but the fact is it is trying to deny space for a meeting to be addressed by our top party leaders. Come what may, we will hold the CWC (Congress Working Committee) meeting successfully and the public meeting also. We have sought the LB Nagar Stadium as an alternative venue for our rally,” Mahesh Kumar Goud said.
This will be the second year in a row that the Government of India will be celebrating Telangana Liberation Day at Parade Ground. Last year too, Shah was the chief guest and after the official ceremonies and a march past by Central security force contingents, addressed a public meeting at the venue.