Rajiv Gandhi or Telangana Talli: Row over statue at Secretariat

 The foundation stone laid by Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy for installing a statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in front of the State Secretariat has triggered a row.

Main Opposition Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has demanded the government to drop the move, saying the land was earmarked for installing a statue of Telangana ‘Talli’ (mother).

BRS leaders opposed the installation of Rajiv Gandhi’s statue, saying the former Prime Minister has no specific relevance to Telangana while the statue of Telangana Talli symbolises the state’s cultural identity.

BRS leader K. Kavitha on Thursday raised her concern over the proposed statue in front of the Secretariat.

In a letter to Telangana Legislative Council Chairman, the BRS MLC said that as an elected representative, she is deeply committed to preserving the cultural identity of Telangana.

She added that the previous government had planned to install a Telangana Talli statue at the Secretariat and that the decision had widespread support because it was seen as a way to honour our state’s rich cultural heritage and make us proud of our Telangana roots.

Kavitha, the daughter of BRS President and former Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, said that she was troubled to hear that the present government has changed this plan. Instead of the Telangana Talli statue, they have decided to lay the foundation stone for a statue of Rajiv Gandhi.

She said while she respects Rajiv Gandhi’s contributions to the nation, putting his statue ahead of Telangana Talli is not the right decision.

“It goes against the wishes of the people of Telangana and disrespects our cultural identity. The Telangana Talli statue is incredibly important to us. It represents our unique cultural identity and reminds us of the struggles and aspirations of our ancestors. Replacing it with a statue of a national figure, no matter how important, would erase what makes Telangana special,” she added.

Kavitha urged the state government to reconsider the decision and prioritise the erection of the Telangana Talli statue in front of Telangana Secretariat.

By doing so, they would honour our state’s cultural legacy and show respect for the sentiments and identity of people they serve, she added.

Chief Minister Revanth Reddy on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for the statue of Rajiv Gandhi in front of the Secretariat.

“The lack of a statue remembering the late Rajiv Gandhi has prompted me to take this step,” he said.

He recalled that the late Prime Minister revolutionised the telecom sector.

The statue would inspire political leaders to follow his ideology of serving the people, he added

“Rajiv Gandhi gave his life for the integrity of the country. His statue is not just for garlanding on birthdays and anniversaries. All political leaders must take inspiration and replicate his vision,” the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister added that AICC leader Sonia Gandhi would be invited to unveil the statue.

He mentioned that there are already statues of prominent figures such as B. R. Ambedkar, Indira Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao and Jaipal Reddy in the vicinity of the Tank Bund.

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