However, the Opposition was quick to grab the opportunity to offer their criticism on the state's handling of the coronavirus crisis with the same hashtag.

Telangana minister KTR talking to a person in a meeting.File photo
Coronavirus Politics Friday, July 24, 2020 - 14:04

Wishing K Taraka Rama Rao, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working president, on his birthday, his followers and well wishers are 'gifting smiles' to those in need, with the #GiftASmile challenge. KTR is also the son of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, and is celebrating his 44th birthday on Friday.

Several people have accepted the challenge and are posting pictures of the donations and charity work that they are doing in KTR's name on social media. 

Jagan Patimeedi, who is the TRS State Social Media Coordinator, tweeted: “It’s birthday of our beloved leader Minister @KTRTRS on 24th July. As he’d specifically requested
earlier, not to spend money on bouquets, Shawls, cakes. Instead, he urged us to #GiftASmile by helping the poor n needy. Be it financial help, food n essentials. Post pics tagging him.”

Following this, several of his party workers, legislators and common people have been doing charity work in KTR's name with the #GiftASmile hashtag on Twitter.

"#GiftASmile Donated rice,dal and grocery to an #orphange in my division on the occasion of #ktranna Birthday. @KTRTRS anna sharing your portraits done by the kids for your birthday. We usually take care of basic needs of kids in this orphanage,” tweeted user Sindhu Adarsh Reddy, GHMC Corporator.

However, the Opposition was quick to grab the opportunity to offer their criticism with the same hashtag.

MLA  and All India Mahila Congress General Secretary Danasari Anasuya, who is popularly known as Seethaka, tweeted: “Brother @KTRTRS, let your 44th birthday be a great help to this society. You are in a position to change the lives of many by including ‘#Coronavirus treatment in Arogya Sree’ at this Pandemic time. Happy Birthday. Have many more like this.”

Arogyasri is a free healthcare scheme introduced in United Andhra under Congress rule in YS Rajashekhar Reddy's tenure. Now, the Congress is asking the Telangana government to include COVID-19 also in the list of diseases that can be treated under Arogyasri. This has already been done by the Andhra Pradesh government. 

BJP party workers sharply criticised the #Giftasmile campaign and tweeted: “The hashtag #GiftASmile is just to promote an incompetent leader as Saviour. If TRS and its party members are serious then they should start providing facilities in government hospitals. Food, Services are not proper in govt hospitals but they are gifting a smile.”

Meanwhile, wishes from several legislators, celebrities and common people have been pouring in for the politician.

Singer Rahul Sipligunj, Bigg Boss 3 winner, has also made a special song as a tribute for KTR on his birthday.