Panabaka Lakshmi releases a Special Postal Cover marking the historic event

The centenary celebrations of first Andhra Conference (`Pradhama Andhra Mahasabha’ began at the historic Town Hall here on Friday. Union Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi inaugurated the event by hoisting a flag and released a Special Postal Cover worth Rs 5.

Rich tributes were paid to B. Narasimheswara Sarma, a member of the Imperial Legislative Council who presided over the Conference, and stalwarts like Bhogaraju Pattabhi Seetaramaiah, Pingali Venkaiah, Ayyadevara Kaleswara Rao, Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham Pantulu, Konda Venkatappaiah and Mutnuri Krishna Rao.

Addressing the gathering, Ms. Lakshmi said the town was privileged to host the first Andhra Conference on May 26, 1913.

The movement for separate State for the Telugu speaking people had its seeds sown in this conference and the dream was ultimately realized due to the sacrifices made by some great men and women.

Ms. Lakshmi said a concerted effort has to be made to protect the native culture and traditions which earned global acclaim and observed that the Conference had given impetus to the growth of Telugu into a classical language.

MLA Gade Venkata Reddy said the distinct identity that the first `Andhra Conference had earned for Telugu people and their language should be preserved by them and wanted them to stay united wherever they are.

Collector S. Suresh Kumar, Director of Postal Services (Vijayawada) M. Venkateswarulu, RDO S. Srinivasa Murthy, Centenary Celebrations Committee Convener P C Sai Babu and Co-Convener K. Venkateswara Reddy and others participated.

Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah will be participating as the chief guest in the program to be held at the Municipal High School ground on May 26.