President arrives in Hyderabad for southern sojourn

Hyderabad, Dec 19: President Pranab Mukherjee arrived here Thursday for his southern sojourn till Dec 31.

Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, several ministers and top officials welcomed him at Hakimpet air force station this evening.

The president left for Rashtrapati Nilayam at Bolarum, where he will stay till Dec 31.

Police have made tight security arrangements around Rashtrapati Nilayam in view of the prevailing political situation in the state.

The president last week sent a bill for formation of a separate Telangana state to the state legislature seeking its views. The bill could not be taken up for debate for last four days in both the houses due to protests by legislators from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra).

For every visit to Hyderabad, the president lands at Begumpet airport located in the heart of the city but this time the authorities choose Hakimpet air force station on the outskirts in view of the possible protests by Seemandhra groups, opposing state’s division. The media was also barred from covering the ceremonial welcome.

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IANS