The Telangana government organised the Republic Day at the Raj Bhavan on a direction by the High Court to observe the event at any cost with Central guidelines.
The government did not want to celebrate the occasion for the third consecutive year at the sprawling Parade ground in Hyderabad citing Covid safeguards.
An activist and businessman from Hyderabad K. Srinivas had moved a lunch motion in the High Court on January 25 seeking instruction to the government to conduct the celebrations in “it’s true spirit and fervour”. Disposing of the case, the court ordered the government to hold the celebration wherever it wanted but insisted on the conduct of traditional parade and Standard Operating Procedures laid down by the Ministry of Defence.
The government at the last hour made brisk arrangements at Raj Bhavan and went ahead with the programme in the presence of the Chief Secretary A. Santhi Kumari, Director General of Police Anjani Kumar and other senior bureaucrats.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his Cabinet colleagues did not participate like in the last two years.
In her address, the Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, who nursed serious differences with the Chief Minister, indirectly criticised Mr. Rao saying some people did not like her but she will go on with her programmes. She said she was not merely the Governor of the State for the past three years but developed a bondage with the State since her birth. She said she like the people of Telangana a lot.
Ms. Soundararajan also she will play her role in the development of the State, no matter the obstacles she might have to face. She gave a call to the people to protect democracy and Constitution in Telangana, uphold the State’s dignity and honour.
“It should not be farmhouses to some people but farms to all in the State”, she remarked indirectly hinting at the farmhouse of Mr. Rao in his constituency of Gajwel.
The Governor deplored the agitating developments in the State such as the suicide by 22 people on an average daily. Referring to the construction of a huge Secretariat complex for the government, she said it was not important to construct buildings but “nation building” should take priority.
She concluded her speech with the famous verse of poet Dasarathi Krishnamacharya which read “ na Telangana, koti ratanala veena” (My Telangana is a veena that shines with a crore of gems).
Ms. Soundararajan left to Puducherry immediately to participate in the Republic Day celebrations in the Union Territory.
The conduct of the Republic Day hurriedly was questioned by the Opposition parties, mainly the BJP whose Parliamentary board member and Rajya Sabha member K. Laxman asked the government whether the Cabinet had cleared her speech as mandated by the Constitution.
When Ms. Soundararajan was reminded at a press conference in 2022 that the government took exception to giving a speech that was not cleared by the Cabinet, she had frowned that she could not be expected to shut her mouth.