Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR)’s “Ayutha Chandi Yagam”, a five-day Vedic ritual that begins on 23 December at his farmhouse in Medak district, will be attended by President Pranab Mukherjee, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu. Venkaiah Naidu will represent Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The yagna, an elaborate religious exercise, will be held on a massive scale for the first time in the country in recent times. Around 15,000 Vedic priests from different states are being drawn to the event.
KCR who met the PM in Delhi on Thursday explained to him that the main purpose of the yagna is a thanksgiving gesture for the formation of Telangana. However, the priests will also perform pujas for the well-being of the country, the CM is believed to have told the PM, according to MPs who accompanied KCR. KCR has also invited NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur and several other governors and Union ministers to the yagna.
“Everyone is excited about the spiritual event and most of them promised to turn up on one of the five days,” TRS’ leader in the Lok Sabha, A.P. Jitender Reddy told The Sunday Guardian over phone.
Apart from fulfilling his spiritual vow, KCR will also be utilising the yagna to boost his political image. He was set to personally invite AP CM Chandrababu Naidu at Vijayawada on Saturday during the Chief Ministers’ conference of southern states addressed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. However, he skipped the event and will now invite Naidu next week.
Indications are there that Naidu will turn up at the yagna as part of his efforts to patch up differences with KCR. Relations between the two CMs were not cordial since they assumed charge last year and the situation went to the extent of each trying to arrest the other in the cash-for-vote scam and the telephone tapping cases. However, Naidu took the first step to end the bitterness by visiting KCR at his camp office in Hyderabad to invite him to the foundation stone laying ceremony of AP capital Amaravati on 22 October. After KCR went to the event, tensions between the two reduced drastically. The daily practice of ministers and MLAs attacking the rival CMs has ended now.
Softening Naidu will also help KCR who is planning to enter the ruling National Democratic Allaince sometime later. KCR, whose TRS has 11 MPs in the Lok Sabha and two in the Rajya Sabha (including one who defected from TDP) and is set to win another two RS MPs in April 2016, is surely an asset to the Modi government which is in need of numbers in the Upper House. Until now, opposition from TDP, a constituent of NDA, is a stumbling block to the TRS’ entry into the ruling coalition at the Centre. But the growing bonhomie between the two CMs is expected to ease out that hurdle, sources in the TRS who preferred anonymity told this paper. Already, TRS is on the same page with the NDA on most issues, including the GST bill.
The presence of President Pranab Mukherjee at the yagna, too, is valued by KCR who has taken extra care to ensure his presence. Sources in the TRS said that KCR had invited Mukherjee six months ago and obtained his nod to schedule the yagna as per his convenience. Mukherjee will be in Hyderabad from 19 to 28 December as part of his southern sojourn.