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Telangana HC breaks stalemate, Guv to unfurl tricolour at Raj Bhawan

The court directs the state government to abide by the Centre’s guidelines while holding Republic-Day celebrations in a manner befitting the occasion.

Statesman News Service | Hyderabad | Updated :

Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan will unfurl the tricolour tomorrow at Raj Bhavan in the presence of the chief secretary, DGP and other officials even after the Telangana High Court passed an interim order directing the state government to hold Republic-Day celebrations, including the parade, in a manner befitting the occasion and according to guidelines of the Centre.

The ongoing tussle between Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and the state governor has cast a long shadow on the Republic-Day celebrations and ceremonial parade in the state with the state government communicating to the governor’s office that the celebrations should be held at Raj Bhavan due to Covid-19 protocols. This effectively means that the governor and the chief minister will mark the day through separate functions.

According to the governor’s office, Dr Soundararajan will participate in Republic-Day celebrations and unfurl the National Flag at 7 am in Raj Bhavan. She will also pay homage to the fallen soldiers at the Martyrs’ Memorial in Secunderabad Parade Ground. She will also felicitate eminent personalities including music director MM Keeravani of RRR fame.

Meanwhile, a petition was filed on Wednesday before the Telangana High Court over celebrating the Republic Day at the Parade Ground. The state government said that it has made arrangements at the Raj Bhavan citing Covid restrictions. However, since the advocate general failed to produce Covid-19 virus protocol issued by the Telangana government for the current situation the court observed, “The Republic Day being a national festival has to be celebrated with national fervour, grandeur, gaiety and enthusiasm. The Centre has thought it fit to issue guidelines and all the state governments and Union Territories are bound to follow the same to the best of their ability and in a manner befitting the occasion.” The court was also not satisfied with the assurance that the celebrations at Raj Bhavan will be webcasted for the public.

Directing the state government to celebrate according to Centre‘s guidelines, the court asked the advocate general to “communicate this order immediately to the state government so that the government can make arrangements for the Republic-Day celebrations tomorrow as per the Guidelines of the Government of India.”

“(This is) slap on the face of BRS Government by Telangana High Court. The court has given a verdict to hold the Republic Day Parade. Impulsive decision by KCR to officially not celebrate the 74th Republic Day was unconstitutional and uncalled for,” said Dr K Laxman, national president of OBC Morcha of the BJP.

Traditionally, the Republic-Day parade was held at the Secunderabad Parade Ground and then at a lesser scale at Public Gardens. But last year, the governor was told to hold it at Raj Bhavan citing Covid-19 restrictions and only a handful of the state officials were present when she unfurled the tricolour. A defiant Dr Soundararajan after being denied the opportunity to take the salute at the Republic Day parade had read her own speech which again did not go down well with the ruling party. The governor is currently sitting on eight Bills since September including the one on the common recruitment board for University teachers which is crucial for the government in this election year.

It is not only the Republic-Day parade Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan was denied an opportunity to deliver the governor’s address at the state Legislative Assembly and Council for the second year in a row. With the government maintaining that it was continuing with the earlier session of the Assembly and Council to present the Budget they have effectively denied the opportunity to address the House as customary at the beginning of the Budget session.

Meanwhile In his message to the people on the eve of the Republic Day the chief minister said, “The country will move further on the path of progress and welfare only when the Federal spirit prevails in India which is flourishing as the federation of states with justice, freedom, equality and brotherhood as the main pillars of the governance.”