The Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, on Tuesday asserted that the State of Andhra Pradesh stood to gain only when it remains united.

The Chief Minister was responding to a question from a trainee officer as to what would be his thinking on the Congress high command’s move to bifurcate the State.

“Agitations are going on. It is not the right forum here to talk about it. I personally feel we stand to gain if we are united,” he said.

Mr. Reddy inaugurated the 88 Foundation Course for officer-trainees of the All-India Services and Central Services at MCRHRD Institute of AP here and took a volley of questions from the trainees.

He said civil servants should attach top priority to uplift of the “weakest among the poorest.” When a trainee sought his view on bringing political parties under the purview of the Right to Information Act, the Chief Minister said: “Don’t hate political leaders. Money with political leaders always comes back into system. The money is again spent in the elections. The corruption levels in business, bureaucracy and other areas are even more serious.”

No amount of money could change the voter, though it could just add or subtract a few votes, he added. Mr. Reddy turned philosophical while comparing a politician with a bureaucrat, saying:

“Politician will be there for five years, but you don’t.” Politicians would make things fast, wait for the mandate of the people and want to come back to power, he added. The MCRHRD Institute Director-General, Prasanta Mahapatra, said the Indian administrative system had its roots in the imperial administration of the Chinese emperors dating back to 2000 years ago.

As many as 166 trainee officers from all over India will take the 15-week-long course, sponsored by various organisations, including the Indian Economic Service and the National Academy of Statistical Administration.

MCRHRD Institute Director-General, Prasanta Mahapatra, and course director and senior IAS officer, R. V. Chandravadan, spoke.