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Thirteen years after he launched the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) on April 27, 2001, with the sole aim of spearheading the separate state movement, K Chandrasekhara Rao, 60, took oath as the first Chief Minister of Telangana at 8:15 am on Monday.
Emotions ran high as the audience, which included many who witnessed the agitation which began in 1969, recalled the lives that had been sacrificed for the formation of the 29th state — the many students who had immolated themselves.
“I never thought I would ever experience this moment,’’ said an emotional Prof M Kodandaram, convenor of the Telangana Joint Action Committee. Hyderabad MP and MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, BJP’s Telangana unit president G Kishan Reddy, BJP’s Secunderabad MP Bandaru Dattatreya and families of Telangana martyrs were among those present at the ceremony.
Before taking oath, KCR, dressed in his trademark white shirt and trousers, first went to the Telangana Martyrs Memorial where he laid floral wreaths and paid tribute. He then went to Raj Bhawan, where Governor ESL Narasimhan, who himself took oath as Governor of Telangana an hour before, administered the oath of office to KCR and his 11-member council of ministers including two Deputy Chief Ministers.
“This is a new beginning. We have realised our dream of achieving Telangana state. Now we need to start another movement to reconstruct and develop our new state,’’ said the new Chief Minister at the Telangana Formation Day celebrations later.
“I congratulate the people of Telangana for this is their victory. I feel humbled by the sacrifices Telangana martyrs made and efforts people made to realise our dream of a separate Telangana state,’’ he said.
KCR reiterated that his government would fulfil all its poll promises and announced a slew of benefits for backward classes and minorities, police personnel, government employees, farmers, pensioners and physically-challenged.
“The TRS government will work hard and try to live up to the people’s expectations. The people of Telangana are pinning their hopes on us and we will work for their welfare as well as rapid development of the state. I assure you that the TRS will fulfil all the promises made in the election manifesto. Ours will be the most employee-friendly government,’’ he said.
After a guard of honour, KCR, who was accompanied by Telangana Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma and Telangana Director General of Police Anurag Sharma, went to the Secretariat and entered his office at 12:57 pm. Amid vedic chants by