Four Ministers, invited to be guests at college inaugural, fail to make it

A philanthropist had an unpleasant experience after spending more than Rs.6 crore for constructing a government college here on Monday.

Four Ministers who were invited to the inaugural ceremony did not turn up. Much worse, IT and Endowments Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who was in the town just before inauguration, did not make it. He even addressed a press conference and conspicuously left the town just before formal inaugural.

Locals were citing various reasons for sudden departure of the Minister. While Dr. Lakireddy brothers' association with the YSR Congress Party was stated be one reason, the invitation card upset the Minister and his colleagues. Dr. Lakireddy Bali Reddy, elder brother of Dr. Hanimi Reddy, was supposed to inaugurate the college, while the Ministers and other VIPs were to be chief guests, special guests and honorary guests.

Dr. Hanimi Reddy said that American Telugu Association (ATA) members had visited the town to see the developments here. The programme was purely meant for their visit. A few more works like painting were yet to be completed. As soon as the college was completed a formal inaugural ceremony would be organised, he added.

Dr. Reddy said that he was not aware of the reasons for the Minister leaving the town all of a sudden. “I don't want to discuss unpleasant things now,” he said. He, however, was quick to add, “I have spent my hard-earned money with the sole objective of providing education to the people here.” Asked whether their association with YSR Congress Party was the reason, he said, “Everyone knows that we have relationship with Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy family. More so, we moved to the US more than 35 years ago. We don't even have votes here.”

At a function in the college, Mylavaram MLA and TDP district president Devineni Umamaheswara Rao lauded the efforts of Dr. Reddy.

More than 20,000 students were studying in private colleges in five mandals. But, hardly 200 students were studying in Government College. Despite this imbalance he had spent more than Rs.5 crore to construct the massive structure, he said. If English medium courses were also introduced, the students would storm the college. The people should make use of the facilities provided by Dr. Reddy, said the TDP leader.

ATA President Rajendra Jinna, President-Elect Karunakar Rao Madhavaram, former MLA Gogulamudi Satyanarayana Reddy, and Dr. Bali Reddy were present. Earlier, ATA sports meet was inaugurated at Lakireddy Hanimi Reddy Stadium here.