As the President, Pranab Mukherjee winds up his traditional 12-day southern sojourn at a colonial bungalow away from the hustle and bustle of the city on Tuesday he would leave with a heavy heart for being unwittingly drawn into a whirlpool of strident bifurcation politics. For any President, such sojourns are intended not merely to infuse a sense of belonging to the people of the four Southern states but to relax a bit, away from the normal pulls and pressures of the national capital.

It was anything but relaxation for Mr. Pranab as ever since he landed in Hyderabad he was swamped by petitions for and against bifurcation while some brazenly suggested how he could reject the AP Reorganisation Bill sent to the Assembly by him or at least stall it till next elections.

In fact, sources close to the President’s office observed that it was perhaps the first time that a President was forced to receive petitions of only one theme- -bifurcation-- and not the usual ones from cross- section of people.

There was a deluge of these “political” petitions and Mr. Pranab might have got thoroughly confused, amused and bored of hearing the same arguments again and again from pro and anti-Telangana delegations.

What more, he had to receive several warring groups from the same political party and often listen to their diagonally opposite views.

Congress takes the cake

The Congress took the cake by sending over half a dozen delegations that included Union Ministers, MPs, MLAs and MLCs representing either side of the regional divide. The next was the TDP, which too separate teams of Telangana and Seemandhra and then of course the party president, N. Chandrababu Naidu, quite strangely, going alone not allowing either side to cast a shadow over him inviting derisive comments over the way he maintained his “neutrality”.

Curiously, even the parties that favoured Telangana sent two delegations as was the case with the BJP.

The TRS too joined the bandwagon despatching three delegations, one of Congress MPs who switched over to TRS, another of MLAs and leaders and third of Telangana Joint Action Committee.

The YSRC, Lok Satta and the CPI sent one each while the CPI (M) and the MIM, known for their united AP stand, mercifully did not feel like troubling the President further.