Congress, TDP and TRS leaders to call on Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee arrived here on Thursday evening, on his annual winter sojourn to a warm welcome from Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Council Chairman A. Chakrapani and a host of other leaders.

During his 12-day long sojourn, the President will fly out to Thiruvananthapuram and participate in the centenary celebrations of former President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy in Anantapur, Puttaparthi, Allahabad, Agra, Mumbai and Pune. He will return to the national capital on December 31.

Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raja Narasimha, Mayor Md. Majid Hussain, Ministers J. Geetha Reddy and Pithani Satyanarayana, Chief Secretary P.K. Mohanty, DGP B. Prasada Rao besides military officials welcomed him as he disembarked from an IAF aircraft at the Air Force Station, Hakimpet.

He later proceeded to the Rashtrapathi Nilayam in Secunderabad.

The media was barred from covering the President’s ceremonial reception, the details of which were provided by the government. Tight security was provided in the Cantonment area in light of the volatile political situation.

Seemandhra and Telangana MLAs from Congress, TDP and TRS are planning to call on Mr. Mukherjee to represent their respective concerns over the issue of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

Former Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy said the Congress leaders from Rayalaseema would seek an appointment with the President to request him to withdraw the bifurcation Bill. They would explain to him how the drought-prone region would be affected badly in terms of irrigation, education and employment.

Telugu Desam Party members from Seemandhra too made it clear that they would not let go of the opportunity of drawing President’s attention to the concerns of the people of their region and explain how the Centre was being adamant in trying to push an infirm bifurcation Bill.

On the other hand, Telangana leaders have also decided to approach Mr. Mukherjee with the complaint that Seemandhra MLAs were defying his order by not allowing Assembly proceedings and not participating in the debate. “We plan to expose the intentions of the Seemandhra leaders,” TRS legislator T. Harish Rao said.