TRS says that 25 lakh people will turn up for the ‘mother of all meetings’, which, they say, will be the biggest mobilisation of people by any political party in the country

Ground report Lakhs gather for KCRs Pragathi Nivedana rally outside HyderabadCourtesy: Twitter/TRS
news Politics Sunday, September 02, 2018 - 16:55

Several lakh people from across Telangana congregated at Kongara Kalan village in the outskirts of Hyderabad on Sunday for a public meeting – ‘Pragathi Nivedana' – being organised by the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Busloads of people continued to pour in, as 7,300 of the total 12,000 RTC buses in the state were hired by the party to transport people to the venue. Thousands of tractors also reached the venue a day in advance. This is in addition to hundreds of private vehicles that came in carrying people.

The party claimed that 25 lakh people will turn up for the meeting, which, they say, will be the biggest mobilisation of people by any political party in the country – mother of all public meetings, as described by the party.

Many people from rural areas, predominantly farmers, said that they had come to the meeting with an intent to show their love for the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for his farmer welfare schemes. Landowning farmers said the government initiatives like Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bima helped them.

However, some people from urban pockets of Hyderabad, especially daily-wage labourers, said that they were coerced into attending the meet.

"We came because the mason insisted. We will lose a day's wage because of this but we have not been offered any money so far. However, we suspect that the mason has been paid because he has been forcing us to come for many days," says one daily-wage labourer from Kondapur, as the mason in question forces them to rush ahead in a hurry. While some were assured of payment of Rs 500 or Rs 1,000, others said that they had no choice but to show up.

The common thread in all cases, rural or urban, seems to be the uninterrupted supply of alcohol to those attending the meeting, as several party supporters were clearly drunk.

Chief Minister and TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao will address the public meeting christened 'Pragathi Nivedana' or progress report on Sunday evening. At the meeting, KCR will highlight the achievements of his government in the last four years.

The city has been painted pink by the TRS by putting up banners, flags, KCR’s cut-outs, billboards, balloons and festoons on all roads leading towards the venue and at all intersections.

There’s a thick security blanket around the 2,000 acre venue with the deployment of 20,000 police personnel. As huge traffic jams are likely, those going to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad have been advised to take alternate routes.

In a decision criticised by the opposition parties, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has decided not to collect toll tax from the vehicles plying on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) on Sunday.

The opposition parties have accused TRS of misusing official machinery for the political meeting but Cabinet minister and KCR’s son, KT Rama Rao, has denied the allegations. He said all expenses of travel and food were being borne by the participants while the party was only taking care of logistics.

Read: No decision on early elections in Telangana cabinet meet

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