He has presented a record 16 budgets working under various Congress Chief Ministers over the years, yet Chief Minister K. Rosaiah requested he not be given two portfolios when he was taken into the Ministry for the first time by M. Chenna Reddy in the 70s.

“Mr. Chenna Reddy took me in his car after the swearing-in ceremony and asked if there was any portfolio I was keen on. I requested him not to give me commercial taxes or civil supplies as the trading community might feel they need not to take any licences thinking I was their man,” remarked Mr. Rosaiah at a public function organised in Sanathnagar constituency on Thursday.

Recalling his close association with several Congress Chief Ministers, he said he learnt a lot of ministerial functions from Chenna Reddy and forecast a bright political future for local MLA M. Shashidhar Reddy. The Chief Minister opened a new Sanathnagar police station, a 33/kv substation and laid a stone for road widening from Erragadda FCI godowns to Fatehnagar flyover.

The 1.5 km road to be widened to 100 feet with 10 ft footpath on both sides is expected to cost Rs. 7.95 crore and 60 properties (public & private) are affected, 180 trees to be translocated or removed and 133 poles are to be shifted for the project with a timeline of six months.

Mr. Rosaiah said road widening programme should be done in tune with rising population and vehicles in the twin cities and at a quicker pace.

Adequate water supply was another challenge. About power cuts, he said steps were being taken to improve generation. He hoped that soon the State will not only be self-sufficient but also surplus in power.

Mr. Shashidhar Reddy showered praises on Mr. Rosaiah for the manner in which he was overcoming “obstacles” to serve the people. He urged him to release MLA funds liberally so as to tackle the water shortage in summer. A water feeder line being laid at a cost of Rs. 4.5 crore was nearing completion and will ensure better supply in the area.

Ministers Sabita Indra Reddy (Home), A. Ram Narayan Reddy (Municipal Administration), P. Lakshmaiah (Irrigation), Mayor Kartika Reddy and others were present.