Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao at the new Secretariat observes the works on Tuesday. (Photo: By arrangement)
Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, who has planned a grand opening ceremony for the Telangana Secretariat complex on February 17, his birthday, has turned the event into another BRS show by inviting the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand — M.K. Stalin and Hemant Soren —and Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav.
Dr B.R Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar will take part in the inaugural event as will JD(U) president Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh on behalf of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Rao inspected the progress of the new Secretariat construction works along with ministers and officials on Tuesday. Roads and buildings minister Vemula Prashant Reddy, who accompanied the CM, informed said that Rao would inaugurate the complex at the auspicious time between 11.30 am and 12.30 pm on February 17 as suggested by Vedic pandits. Prior to the inauguration, Vedic pundits would perform the vastu puja, Chandi yagam and Sudarshana yagam, he said.
After the inauguration of Secretariat, the CM along with his Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand counterparts as well as regional party leaders, will address a public meeting at Parade Ground. The CM's sudden decision to hold the public meeting is being viewed in the BRS circles as a counter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting at Parade Ground next month.
Modi is expected to arrive in Hyderabad on February 13 to launch various development programmes and address a public meeting in Parade Ground.
Interestingly, the CM announced the party’s first public meeting in Khammam with three non-BJP CMs on January 18 all of a sudden, after news emerged that Modi would be visiting Hyderabad on January 19 to flag off the Vande Bharat Express to Visakhapatnam and address a public meeting at Parade Ground. The PM cancelled his visit later.
Further, the CM scheduled the state Assembly session from February 3, four days after the Budget Session of Parliament begins on January 31.
Sources said Rao wanted to showcase opposition unity against the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls from the same venue after the PM addresses the public meeting. This will be the second public meeting for the BRS after last week's Khammam rally which was attended by Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi) and Bhagwant Mann (Punjab), both from the Aam Aadmi Party, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan besides CPI national secretary D. Raja.
The new Secretariat, which has cost more than Rs 600 crore and has a built-up area of more than 7 lakh square feet with modern amenities, was scheduled to be formal inauguration on October 5, Dasara. It was postponed as most of the finishing works were yet to be completed.
Auspicious time: New Secretariat complex will be inaugurated on Feb. 17 between 11.30 am and 12.30 pm.
Who is invited?: Tamil Nadu CM M.K. Stalin, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, Dr B.R Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar, and JD(U) president Lalan Singh
Rituals to be performed: Prior to inauguration, ‘vastu puja’, ‘Chandi Yagam’, ‘Sudarshana Yagam’ and other rituals will be performed by Vedic scholars
Politics on Parade Ground: Rao will be addressing a public meeting at the Parade Ground, a move seen as a counter to PM Narendra Modi’s public meeting at the same venue.