The celebrations for the harvest festival of Sankranti were today kicked off with much fervour and pomp in the two Telugu-speaking states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as the people immersed themselves in the celebration of Bhogi, the festival's first day.
Many people who live away from their native places due to their education and professional commitments, returned home to participate in the Sankranti festivities in both the states. In fact, the spike in traffic caused by this had recently even led to traffic congestion along the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway
The villages in the two states wore festive looks, and witnessed the performance of the traditional plays of Haridasa, and the burning of the ceremonial Bhogi bonfires in which the people set ablaze their old things.
On the occasion, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan extended her wishes to the people of the state.
Nalgonda MLA Kancherla Bhupal Reddy also wished the people of his constituency, and participated in the lighting of the Bhogi bonfire at the Ramalayam in Nalgonda.
In Andhra Pradesh, TDP founder and former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu participated in a celebration organised in Krishna district's Paritala.
Naidu however also chose to use the festival to make a strong political statement against the YSR Congress Party regime, and burned the "draconian, anti-people and anti-farmer" orders issued by the latter.
Similarly, in Amaravathi, protesting farmers and workers from the Left parties burnt copies of the Centre's three farm Acts while celebrating the festival.
The occasion was also celebrated on a grand scale in the temple town of Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh where a special Bhogi bonfire was lit at the main entrance of the temple.