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KCR forgets promises made at Medaram

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The Chief Minister of Telangana State Mr. K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who will visit Medaram Jatara (the biggest Adivasi event in Asia) today, had forgot his two-year back promises made for the development of Medaram during his visit.

Mr. KCR told earlier that he would release funds about Rs. 200 crore for the event which is also called ‘Telangana Kumbh Mela’ and promised to procure as many as 200 acre of land for the Jatara. “I come back to Medaram within 20 days and I’ll sit here on a chair for the procurement of land and its survey,” he said.

The CM also said that he personally meet the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in Delhi for putting pressure on him to announce the Jatara as National event by providing ‘National Status’.

“The entire world is interested on Medaram. We should develop this locality as the goddesses of Medaram Sammakka and Saralamma are the initiators for the Telangana Movement,” the CM told two years back during his visit to Medaram. 

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Lakhs descend on Telangana’s Medaram for tribal fair

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Lakhs of devotees from various states descended on Medaram in Telangana’s Mulugu district as Asia’s biggest tribal fair, Sammakka-Saralamma Jatara, began on Wednesday.

Devotees, mostly tribals, from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and other states are attending the four-day biennial festival at in Eturangaram wildlife sanctuary.

The devotees, including women, were standing in long queues to offer jaggery to tribal goddesses Sammakka and Sarakka, also called as Saralamma.

Sammakka and Sarakka were legendary warriors from the Koya tribe who died while fighting against the Kakatiya empire over 800 years ago.

The unique rituals will begin Wednesday night with the customary arrival of Sarakka’s image from Kannepally village which will be placed on a platform. The image idol covered in red cloth will be brought in a vessel laden with vermilion and turmeric powder.

The idols of Sarakkaa’s father Pagidigidda Raju and husband Govinda Raju will be brought to Medaram.

Devotees were having holy dip in Jampanna Vagu, a tributary of Godavari river. Jampanna was the tribal warrior and the son of tribal Goddess Sammakka who was killed in a war with Kakatiya Army. The tribals believe that a dip in the stream washes off their sins.

Authorities have made elaborate security arrangements for Medaram jatra, also called as Telangana’s kumbh mela. About 1.5 crore devotees are expected to participate in the event.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and Director General of Police Mahender Reddy reached Medaram from Hyderabad to monitor the conduct of the fair.

Somesh Kumar directed all government departments to work with coordination to ensure smooth conduct of darshan and other rituals.

He reviewed the arrangements made by all the departments. He directed the irrigation department to maintain the water flow in the stream and asked it to keep swimmers ready to prevent any untoward incident.

Earlier, he flew over Jampanna Vaagu and other places where rituals were being conducted.

The police chief directed officials to be on alert to prevent stampede. He said 12,000 policemen were deployed for the peaceful and smooth conduct of the event.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 75 crore to take up various works for the smooth conduct of the rituals during the jatra.

Various departments have undertaken various works to provide all the necessary facilities for the devotees. These include sprucing up bathing ghats along Jampanna Vagu. As many as 132 dress changing compartments were constructed across 3.5 km stretch.

State-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is plying 4,000 buses to ferry devotees to Medaram from various places in the state. This is in addition to thousands of private vehicles.

The South Central Railway is also operating 20 special trains from Hyderabad and other places in Telangana to clear the extra rush of passengers.

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Politics over ‘Medaram’

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As the demands are being raised for the recognition of Asia’s biggest Tribal Fair ‘Medaram’ as ‘National Festival’, few political parties have begun moves to claim its credit if the central government responds positively on the proposal.

The tribal fair is observed once in every two years and more than one crore people visit Medaram during the event from seven states including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which did not consider the demand earlier, is focusing on it as the NDA government is about to announce the fair as National Festival. Leaders of BJP from Telangana are frequently visiting union ministers in Delhi on the issue and utilizing every development on the proposal to claim their credit. “We have been visiting ministers and our government will announce the recognition due to our serious efforts,” a leader from BJP said.

TRS is also focusing on the matter and it will claim that the party’s pressure on central lead to the positive announcement. Endowment minister of TS A.Indrakaran Reddy has already called on Union Tribal Welfare Minister Jual Oram and submitted a representation on ‘Medaram’. Soon after the meeting, in the way of claiming credit, the Union Minister along with state BJP leaders held a press conference and informed the media that it would announce Medaram as National Festival soon and said that the fair might get recognition of UNICEF Heritage with the initiations of the central government.

Following the competition between TRS and BJP on ‘credit’ issue, Congress leaders have also started their politics on Medaram Fair. “We are inviting our chief Mr. Rahul Gandhi to the fair. He responded positively on the invitation. He may deliver a speech on tribal issues in the country at the event,” a source from Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee said. The Congress is on the way to attract tribal voters for upcoming 2019 general elections by utilizing the fair as a dais.

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