Celebrations to hail Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for the ‘historic’ Revenue legislation, here on Wednesday, reminded the TRS’ Pragathi Nivedana Sabha tractor rallies at Kongara Kalan held ahead of the State Assembly elections in 2018.
Close to a thousand tractors, driven by farmers and leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samithi, with posters of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, IT Minister K. T. Rama Rao and Energy Minister G. Jagadish Reddy as the vehicle badge, turned the town pink. The vibrant rally, however, was a hard reminder of such mass movement during the pandemic, the only one so far being the funeral procession of Colonel Bikkumalla Santosh Babu in June here.
While officials in the town estimated the flow was “about 1,000-1,200 tractors between 11 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.”, TRS leaders said several thousands of tractors moved here from all the mandals. Milk abhishekams were performed, crackers were burst and celebratory dappu performance were included as thanksgiving to the Chief Minister, they said.
And visible from the videos and batches of photographs, the participants were lacking safe physical distance norms and protective masks. But majorly, according to police officers who wished to remain anonymous, none of the organisers or participants applied for permissions for the rally, which are expressly prohibited in wake of the COVID-19 protocol. “Tractors came from all over the mandals, and since they lacked co-ordination there were a few hundreds only, but not thousands. There was only one person per engine,” a town officer said.
Suggesting almost a competition of sorts, TRS leaders in Miryalaguda are gearing up for a grander show on Thursday, with an estimated participation of 3,000 tractors, a spirited call by its legislator N. Bhaskar Rao. Miryalaguda DSP Venkateswara Rao, when contacted, said permissions were given for the rally for 200 tractors and local bandobust arrangements were being done.