HYDERABAD: It was a picture perfect sight: the chief ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, K Chandrasekhar Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu respectively, embraced each other at the Alai Balai programme organised by BJP senior leader Bandaru Dattatreya to promote unity and camaraderie on the occasion of Dasara.
Heads of the two Telugu states came face to face at Jala Vihar, the venue of Alai Balai, where they came to attend the programme.
While the two leaders were embracing and exchanging pleasantries outside the auditorium, Governor ESL Narasimhan addressed the gathering inside the auditorium.
The Governor called upon the people of two states to be united. “Only when both AP and Telangana states work together, development is possible,” he said, while emphasising on cooperation. He further opined that only when there is a society, politics will be there.
Hence, more importance should be given to the social unity, he said.
Earlier, addressing the gathering, KCR praised Dattatreya who had conceptualised Alai Balai programme as an apolitical forum to bring people from varied backgrounds on a common platform to work for a common cause-public good-and had been organising it for the past 11 years. He appreciated the role the programme had played during the Telangana movement and wished a hundred years life for Bandaru.
“Though I am on a busy schedule, out of respect for Bandaru Dattareya, I came here and also to wish you all people,” KCR said while concluding his speech with Jai Telangana slogan.
In his address, Chandrababu Naidu also emphasised the need for unity among the people of the two states to progress ahead. “Though there might be a geographical division, Telugu people remain one and will remain so,” he said.
Stating that several problems have arisen because of disunity, Naidu emphasised the need for unity. He said he has been living in Hyderabad for the last 35 years and will continue to live in Hyderabad in the future also. Naidu said as AP CM he wants that state to progress, and as TDP chief, he wants both Telugu states to prosper.
Naidu concluded his speech with Jai Telangana, Jai Andhra Pradesh and Jai Bharath slogans.
Explaining the objective of Alai Balai, Bandaru Dattatreya appreciated Telangana government for celebrating Bathukamma as a state festival in a befitting manner. He said the soul of the nation or the state is its culture. Protecting and promoting culture and folk arts and crafts is of paramount importance, he said.
On the occasion, he wished both Telugu states will cooperate with each other and progress on the path of development.
Union minister M Venkaiaha Naidu, who attended the programme later in the evening, also emphasised the need for unity among all.
He said unity in diversity has been hallmark of Indian culture and one should strive to keep the unique feature of Indian culture alive. Stressing the importance of different festivals, he said behind every festival, there is a scientific principal and message from our ancestors. Expressing happiness over the celebration of Bathukamma festival in a grand manner, he said it was like a cultural renaissance. He was all praise for Dattareya for organising Alai Balai.
Telangana Assembly Speaker S Madhusudhanachary, Telangana Council chairman K Swamy Goud and TRS leader K Kesava Rao also spoke.
FOOD AND DANCE
The who and who of politics in Telangana participated in the Alai Balai event, which is popular for its traditional food delicacies. As usual, this year too Alai Balai witnessed lip smacking cuisine of Telangana and highlighted the folk dances of the state like Gussadi, Lambadi, Kolatam, Dappu, Bathukamma, Yaksha Ganam and Chindu.