The 10-day southern sojourn planned by President Pratibha Patil at the Rashtrapati Nilayam in Secunderabad, from December 28 to January 6, has been cancelled.

A communication to this effect was received by the State government from the Rashtrapati Bhavan at New Delhi on Saturday evening.

Official sources said the government had subtly advised the President against visiting Andhra Pradesh as the already surcharged atmosphere over the demand for separate Telangana would give a handle for parties to use her visit for political purposes by submitting memoranda on contentious issues and staging demonstrations.

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