Andhra Pradesh celebrates I-Day under shadow of division
Andhra Pradesh Thursday celebrated Independence Day under the shadow of division, amid unprecedented security.
Protests against the centre's decision to bifurcate the state by carving out a separate Telangana marked the celebrations at a few places in the Rayalaseema and Andhra regions, collectively known as Seemandhra.
YSR Congress party legislator Gurunath Reddy tried to disrupt the official celebrations in Anantapur. Alleging that the ministers failed to stop the division, he lodged his protest when Revenue Minister Raghuveera Reddy was addressing the gathering after unfurling the national flag.
Slogans of "Jai Telangana" were raised by a few people during the celebrations at Gandhi Bhavan, the headquarters of the ruling Congress party in Hyderabad.
State Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana appealed to people to exercise restraint as the division of the state is a sensitive issue.
Police have made elaborate security arrangements in the district headquarters, especially in Seemandhra, to prevent any untoward incidents during official celebrations.
The state ministers, hoisting the tricolour at ceremonies in the different district headquarters, fear protests from people demanding their resignation to oppose the state's division.
Government employees in Seemandhra, who are continuing the indefinite strike, have agreed to participate in I-Day celebrations.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy hoisted the national flag at the main official ceremony at Parade Grounds in Secunderabad here, amid tight security. He received the guard of honour and reviewed various contingents of police, home guards and students.
Assembly speaker N. Manohar, legislative council chairman A. Chakrapani and Director General of Police Dinesh Reddy unfurled the national flag at the ceremonies held in their premises.
Leader of opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu hoisted the tricolor at NTR Trust Bhavan, the headquarters of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
(Posted on 15-08-2013)