HYDERABAD: Stating that Telangana is a shining example of a ‘secular’ state in the country, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao extended Christmas wishes to not just the people of the State, but citizens across the country on Friday. He was addressing a crowd at the State’s official X’mas celebrations held at LB Stadium. “The same ground where we’re celebrating Christmas today has seen Iftar and Bathukamma festivities as well. This shows the secular fabric of the State and our efforts to uphold it,” said the chief minister. “Telangana is an example of how a secular state should be,” he added.
Highlighting the government’s commitment towards Christians in the State, the chief minister said that he would schedule an appointment with Christian leaders to address their concerns. “I will fix an appointment with Archbishop Thumma Bala in the next 10 days to sort out the issues of Christians in the State,” Rao said. Meanwhile, leaders from the Christian community, who spoke at the event, raised the issue of lack of burial grounds in Telangana.
Speaking at the event, Minister for Minority Welfare Koppula Eshwar said, “The chief minister, as promised last year, has given 2 acres of land in Kokapet for the setting up of a Christian Bhavan. He has also allocated `10 crore for its construction. Apart from this, the government is also working towards providing burial grounds. It has identified 65 acres for the same around Hyderabad.”
The chief minister further said, “The best gift that the State has received this Christmas is the Kaleshwaram project. It is providing water and electricity to the most deprived corners of the State.” This year’s Christmas celebrations of the State government includes the distribution of gifts to nearly three lakh families from each of the Assembly consistencies.