The demand for united State found an echo in the public meeting addressed by President Pranab Mukherjee with Minister S. Sailajanath, a strong votary of Samaikhyandhra, raising the issue amid large gathering of people.

Dr. Sailajanath said the President was the “only person” capable of ensuring that established procedures were followed in the bifurcation process.

The meeting was organised to conclude the birth centenary celebrations of former president Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.

Anantapur MP Ananta Venkatarami Reddy referred to the ongoing crisis and said Mr. Pranab’s visit at this juncture raised hopes for an amicable solution.

The President in his speech hailed Sanjeeva Reddy as modern day architect of the State and set high standards in public life. Sanjeeva Reddy displayed high standards by resigning as Chief Minister over an adverse remark made by the Supreme Court against his Government for not filing an affidavit.

He lauded Dr Reddy for his visionary approach in making the State ‘the granary of south India’ giving shape to plans for construction of major irrigation projects including Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam. Sanjeeva Reddy deftly handled the unprecedented political turmoil which saw him swear in three governments led by Morarji Desai, Charan Singh and India Gandhi.

Governor ESL Narasimhan recalled his connection with Sanjeeva Reddy saying that he had studied in ‘The Theosophical Society School at Adyar, Chennai, the school in which Sanjeeva Reddy studied and was trained as an IPS officer at the very venue of Monday’s meeting after clearing the Civil Services.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said agriculture was the backbone of the robust economy of the State and it had roots in the pro-agriculture vision of Sanjeeva Reddy for using every drop of water through multi purpose projects across rivers.

Students held

Earlier, police arrested 40 students of Sri Krishnadevaraya University affiliated to the SKU Joint Action Committee while they were on their way to venue of the public meeting.

The students were released after the President left for Puttaparthy airport.