Vijayawada, Nov 1 (IANS) After a gap of five years, Andhra Pradesh resumed celebrating State Formation Day with Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy attending the main official function here Friday evening.
The function, which kicked off the three-day celebrations, showcased the rich traditions and cultures of Andhra Pradesh.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government had stopped celebrating Andhra Pradesh Formation Day after the state was bifurcated to create Telangana on June 2, 2014. It was instead organizing “Nava Nirmana Deeksha” every year on June 2 to highlight the injustice done to the state and to vow to rebuild the state.
The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), which came to power in May, decided to revive Formation Day celebrations on November 1.
It was on this day in 1956 that Andhra State and then Telangana region of Hyderabad State merged to form Andhra Pradesh as a united state for Telugu-speaking people.
Earlier, the Andhra State was carved out of Madras State in 1953, following the death of Potti Sriramulu, after hunger strike in Madras demanding a separate state for Telugu people.
At the main official function, Jagan Mohan Reddy said they were proud to celebrate the Formation Day since 1956 and recall the contributions made by great personalities.
Potti Sriramulu had become a martyr after fasting for 58 days to upkeep the pride of Telugu pride and his sacrifice has a place of pride in our hearts, he said.
Jagan said no other state in India was meted out such grave justice as Andhra Pradesh but expressed the optimism that the state will overcome the odds and move ahead.
“The fruits of our efforts and hard work were left behind at Madras in 1953 and at Hyderabad in 2014. We have to start afresh the process of development and we will go forward and shape a new Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
“When Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy was alive, no one imagined that the state would be bifurcated but in the 29 states, we are left behind. But we will move forward with the Navaratnas and fight the social evils to drive out illiteracy, poverty and help the downtrodden to give them a better future and plan for the generation next.”
Earlier, the family members freedom fighters were honoured on the occasion. The granddaughter of Potti Sriramulu, Prof Revathi thanked the government for the recognition and recalled the sacrifice made by her grandfather who became a martyr and recalled the proud moment of her life when she sat in the lap of Mahatma Gandhi.
Family members of Pingali Venkaiah, who designed the national flag, Tangaturi Prakasam Panthulu, Alluri Sitharama Raju, Kanneganti Hanumanthu, Gadicherla Hari Sarvothama Rao, Damodaram Sanjeevaiah, Tenneti Viswantham were among those who were honoured on the occasion.
The Governor, in his speech, traced the history of Andhra and the contribution of Telugu people during the freedom struggle and Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan besides the importance of Vijayawada during the movement.
The Governor and Chief Minister had visited the stalls of handlooms and handicrafts and later watched the mythological play “Maya Bazar”, staged by the popular troupe Surabhi.