President on a southern sojourn
Pratibha Patil accorded ceremonial reception at Begumpet airport
She will also visit Tamil Nadu and Gulbarga
She will leave Hyderabad for Delhi on Jan. 11
President Pratibha Patil arrived here by a special Indian Air Force plane on Saturday on a fortnight-long sojourn to the South.
She was accorded a ceremonial reception when she arrived at the Begumpet airport.
She was received by Governor N.D. Tiwari, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Ministers Mohd. Ali Shabbir (Power), G. Vinod (Labour), Congress MP V. Hanumantha Rao and a host of senior Congress leaders besides Chief Secretary P. Ramakanth Reddy and Additional Director-General of Police M. Ratan.
Arriving over 80 minutes behind schedule, Ms. Pratibha Patil reviewed a guard of honour before leaving in a motorcade to the Rashtrapati Nilayam at Bolarum, accompanied by the Governor and the Chief Minister.
The President will visit Tamil Nadu twice, covering Rameswaram, Chennai and Vellore, apart from visiting Visakhapatnam and Gulbarga in Karnataka.
She will leave Hyderabad for New Delhi on January 11.
Praises ‘pavala vaddi’
Ms. Pratibha Patil on Saturday hailed the ‘pavala vaddi’ scheme for the self-help groups, housing and pension schemes being implemented by the State government.
The President praised the three schemes when Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy explained to her the salient features while she was driving to the ‘Rashtrapati Nilayam’ for her southern sojourn here.
A press release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office quoted the President as having stated that the self-help group movement in the State was a ‘silent socio-economic revolution’ and that other States should try and emulate it.
She also lauded the pension schemes for various sections being implemented on a ‘saturation concept’ after Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy informed her about their salient features.
YSR uses a private jet for a private function
It is not uncommon for Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to travel by helicopter to different destinations in the State to attend official and non-official programmes. But, on Saturday, he opted to fly by a private jet to attend a private function within the State.
The occasion was the wedding of the daughter of State Cooperation Minister Mohd. Fareeduddin, Sania Tazeen, at Zaheerabad, a bustling city in Medak district, about 100 km from here.
There was neither any snag in the newly-acquired Augusta Westland AW-139 helicopter nor lack of facilities for the chopper to land at Zaheerabad.
It was the timing of the marriage – 7 p.m. “The Augusta Westland has state-of-the-art facilities, but the chopper is generally not allowed to land at new places after the sunset,” an official explained. This forced Dr. Reddy to take a private jet to reach the Air Force base at Bidar in Karnataka and travel by road to Zaheerabad from there. According to the Chief Minister’s schedule, the flying time for the jet to Bidar was little over 20 minutes while the travel time by road from Bidar to Zaheerabad about an hour.
YSR’s assurance to village servants
Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Saturday assured the A.P. Gramasevakula Sangham that he would hold discussions with officials to settle the demands of the striking village servants.
Members of the sangham are on strike since December 22 demanding Rs. 4,000 as salary and recognition as class IV staff.