Celebrations have greeted the creation of India’s newest state of Telangana, marking the formal division of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Thousands of people cheered as regional political leader K Chandrasekhar Rao attended a parade soon after he was sworn in as Telangana’s chief minister.
Mr Rao led a 14-year struggle for the creation of the state, with the information technology and industrial hub of Hyderabad as its capital. India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, congratulated Mr Rao on becoming the first chief minister of India’s 29th state and promised the federal government’s support in developing the state.
Telangana supporters say their drought-prone area in northern Andhra Pradesh remained under-developed and its residents faced discrimination in the allocation of funds, water and jobs. Hyderabad will remain the capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for the next 10 years, after which Andhra Pradesh will develop a new capital city.
Telangana, which comprises 10 districts of Andhra Pradesh, has a population of 35 million.