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Capping decades of struggle, Telangana came into being as the 29th state of India when Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao was today sworn in as Chief Minister at the head of a 11-member Cabinet that included his son and nephew.
Turning the clock back 57 years when Telugu-speaking Telangana region of Hyderabad was merged with Andhra State in November 1956, the new state of Telangana was born at the stroke of midnight.
Telugu will now enjoy a unique privilege of being the language of two states--Telangana and residual Andhra Pradesh, thus becoming the only language apart from Hindi to be the dominant language in more than one state.
Telangana is the first state to be created in 14 years after Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand were carved out of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh during NDA's rule at the Centre in 2000.
60-year-old Rao, who quit the Telugu Desam Party and floated Telangana Rashtra Samiti in 2001 to champion the cause of separate statehood, was sworn in as Chief Minister by Governor E S L Narasimhan. His son K T Rama Rao, nephew T Harish Rao and nine others were also sworn in as ministers.
Rao's daughter K Kavitha has been elected to Lok Sabha from Nizamabad in the Telangana in the recent elections.
The others who were sworn in as ministers were--Mohammed Mahmood Ali, T Rajaiah, Nayani Narasimha Reddy, Eatela Rajender, Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy, T Padma Rao, P Mahender Reddy, Jogu Ramanna and G Jagadish Reddy.
Earlier, Narasimhan, who was appointed Governor of both the states, was administered the oath of office by Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta.
There were overnight celebrations to herald the birth of the new state when crackers were burst and fireworks lit the night sky.
Soon after taking oath, Rao, popularly called KCR, vowed to root out "political corruption" and establish transparency in governance.
Often dubbed as a "rabble rouser" by his detractors, K Chandrasekhar Rao, who steered his party to triumph in the recently concluded Legislative Assembly elections, winning 63 of the 119 seats in Telangana region, started off on a populist note as he promised to waive farm loans upto Rs one lakh.
"People of Telangana are looking forward to a progressive and development-oriented state. We will work in that direction and ensure a transparent administration," he said addressing the ceremonial parade to mark the Telangana Formation Day