Staff Reporter

Even Chief Minister excuses himself, citing official functions in other districts

Cantonment MLA G. Sayanna unhappy with celebrations, absent as a mark of protest Alleges denial of funds for re-carpeting of roads prior to the event alleged

HYDERABAD: The colour was there. The music was there. So was the pomp. But glaring was the absence of city legislators, including the Secunderabad MLA and Secunderabad Cantonment MLA, for the inaugural pageant of Secunderabad 200 celebrations here on Saturday.

The shadow of discord was evident as none of the city MLAs, particularly those who never miss any city-related event, were present for the carnival that began from Buddha Bhavan. In fact, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy himself, citing official functions in other districts, was not present.

While Khairatabad MLA P. Janardhan Reddy and Secunderabad MLA T. Padma Rao said they were "out of station", Sanathnagar MLA Marri Shashidhar Reddy, Musheerabad MLA Nayani Narsimha Reddy and Himayatnagar MLA G. Kishen Reddy were not even available for comment.

However, Cantonment MLA G. Sayanna made it pretty clear that his absence indeed was a protest.

"Though I cannot speak for all the city MLAs, let me tell you that I kept away because I was not at all happy with the way the celebrations were being organised," he told The Hindu .

"Secunderabad has not been given any funds for re-carpeting of roads, which should have been done keeping at least the celebrations in mind. Just have a look at the roads here, and compare them to how the roads were repaired and spruced up when the Congress Plenary was held here," he fumed.

"The Chief Minister released the stamp and logo at his camp office. When he can go for Palle Bata and all those programmes to other districts, why did he not spare a few minutes to come here?" Mr. Sayanna asked.

He also hinted that the invitations were not handled properly. "One invitation came two days back and had no names of any MLA on it. Today, the day of the event, they sent another invitation at 1 p.m., which has our names. The last minute commotion shows how sincere they were in organising the celebrations," he said.

The only public representatives of Secunderabad who made an appearance were MPs Anjan Kumar Yadav, V. Hanumantha Rao and nominated MLA Christine Lazarus, apart from a handful of corporators.