Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy used the occasion to invoke the Telugu Talli and said the state would celebrate many more formation days in the years to come. Despair was visible in his address as he stressed on his pro-integration agenda.
In the event held at NTR Stadium, the CM restricted his customary address to just eight minutes. In a tone of disappointment, CM said, "As Telangana state formation process is on, people consider that this year's State Formation Day will be the last."
"The state and the people are in uncertainty. No one is sure about holding the stateFormation Day next year. But, I pray to Telugu Talli that this must be held every year forever," he said while presiding over the function that lasted only 58 minutes.
Recalling the speech of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Parliament on December 21, 1972, the CM said she was for keeping Andhra Pradesh united.
"While calling upon the people of Andhra Pradesh to think ahead and plan for the next hundred years, Indira Gandhi had said she was a staunch pro-integrationist," Kiran Kumar said. Jawaharlal Nehru laid a strong foundation for united AP on November 1, 1956, and Indira Gandhi strengthened it later, he said.
Advocating Samikyandhra, the chief minister said AP could get great projects such as Nagarjunasagar, Srisailam and Sriramsagar only because it was united. "If we are politically and economically significant and strong in the national scenario, it is because we are a big and undivided state," he said.
Addressing the voters, he said, "So far you had chosen wise men who kept the state united. A leader like Indira Gandhi chose to contest from the state because she trusted them."
In an oblique reference to the concerns being expressed over the law and order situation in the divided state, Kiran Kumar said: "We are able to provide security to the people and maintain law and order only because the state remained strong."
While his priority was clearly to position himself as a crusader of Samikayandhra, Kiran did not forget to highlight the achievement of his government on the social welfare front and listed his pet schemes such as Bangaru Talli, Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu and the SC/ST sub-plan. He also inspected a police parade and witnessed the cultural programme put up by school children, following the unfurling of the national flag.
While Telangana Congress leaders were conspicuous by their absence at the event, eight Seemandhra ministers including T G Venkatesh, Ganta Srinivas Rao and S Shailaja Nath were present. Danam Nagender was the lone minister from Telangana.
Meanwhile, TRS and other Telangana supporters, who had been observing the day as "betrayal day", hoisted black flags in Hyderabad, Warangal and other places in the region. They also took out protest rallies.
(With agency inputs)