Amit Shah marks Hyderabad Liberation Day, lashes out at vote-bank politics | India News

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HYDERABAD: Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Centre will celebrate September 17 as “Liberation Day” and continue to do so with pride every year to mark the day Indian forces entered the city ruled by the Nizam in 1948.
Shah’s statement was viewed as a riposte to Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao and his TRS government as well as those who insist that Hyderabad had “integrated” into the Indian Union and was not “liberated” by Operation Polo — then home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s codename for the military action.
Shah spoke at a packed Parade Grounds in the city where the Centre launched its yearlong Telangana Liberation Day celebrations “to mark 75 years of Hyderabad becoming part of India”. “Suddenly, everyone has joined to observe September 17 as Liberation Day after the Centre announced it,” he said, alluding to the fact that no political party in the region had grandly celebrated the historic day for the past seven decades. Events barely lasted a couple of hours.
Shah said that whether someone observed it or not, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to officially observe the day and will continue to do so with pride. The day also happens to be PM Modi’s birthday.
Steering clear of directly naming KCR and his government, which has announced three days of celebration, Shah said those who do not want to call it “Liberation Day” should remember that they are in power because of the sacrifices of martyrs. They have forgotten the very purpose of the state’s creation, he said.
He also took a swipe at Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM, who had demanded September 17 be observed as National Integration Day. “September 17 was not observed due to vote-bank politics or pressure from some parties. These parties should now realise that there is no Razakar rule in this county,” he said.
The Union minister said that celebrating “Liberation Day” will make future generations aware of atrocities committed in Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka that were part of the Hyderabad state.
He then praised and thanked Sardar Patel’s initiative, saying had it not been him, “this large area of India would not have become a part of the nation”.
Speaking at the function, Union tourism minister G Kishan Reddy said BJP’s constant fight for recognition of September 17 had forced the Telangana government to observe it. “State governments have shied away from observing the day. The sufferings of the people in those days were unexplainable.”
Shah meets Gopichand
After the event, Shah met badminton ace and coach Pullela Gopichand, triggering speculation about the former All England champion heading to politics — fuelled more by the fact that his ward and ex-world No 1 Saina Nehwal joined BJP two years ago. Gopichand dismissed it: “It was just a courtesy call. No politics was discussed. I have nothing to do with politics.” However, BJP sources said the leadership won’t mind drafting well-known faces from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh into the party before the 2023 assembly polls.

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