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President appeals to Telugu states to live in peace, harmony

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Hyderabad: Amid tension between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana over various issues, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday appealed to both the Telugu states to live in peace and harmony for the betterment of their people.much-gap-between-desires-and-means-says-pranab-mukherjee_150913025701

“We can choose our friends but can’t choose our neighbours. Our neighbours are going to stay where they are. We may like it or may not like it but it is for us to decide whether to live with our neighbours in peace and harmony or in perpetual tension,” he said while speaking at the launch of book “Uniki” written by Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao.

His appeal came against the backdrop of tension between the two Telugu states in the wake of cash-for-vote scam, allegedly involving a legislator of opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Telangana.

After an audio tape of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who is also TDP chief, allegedly relating to the same bribery scandal surfaced last month, he accused Telangana’s ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) of tapping his phone.

Andhra has already urged the central government to order probe into phone-tapping and hand over to joint governor the law and order powers in Hyderabad, the joint capital of the two states.

“My appeal to all concerned is to work in close harmony because we all belong to India and this is necessary to ensure sustainable development and to help the country get its rightful place in the comity of nations,” he said, adding it was also important given the significance of Hyderabad.

“Hyderabad is not just state headquarters or capital city. It is something more,” Mukherjee said, pointing out that as cyber city or Hitec city, it developed the core competence of modern-day civilization – information technology.

“It has emerged as an educational hub to the benefit of only people of this region or Telangana or Andhra Pradesh but to the benefit of whole of India,” he added.

“It (Hyderabad) has its national importance. Always there will be problems particularly when a new entity is carved out, it raises many problems,” the president said.

He quoted one of the 10 Biblical Commandments “love your neighbour” to underline the need for both states to live together in peace.

Mukherjee said he was sharing his views as he was personally associated with this issue (Telangana) for a long time in his earlier capacity as union minister, when he headed a committee constituted by then ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to look into the demand for separate Telangana state and later played a key role in its formation as a member of the Congress’ core group.

He also congratulated Vidyasagar Rao for bringing out this useful compilation of writings and reflections on his life and experiences. He stated that the title, which means existence, evokes a philosophical view of the issues and events that have been written about in this book.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, who released the book, presented first copy to the president.

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and Congress leader in Telangana assembly K. Jana Reddy also spoke. (IANS)

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Police: People Breaks Security During President’s Visit To Puri temple

The Odisha Police today said “some people” had breached the security cordon

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Police: People Breaks Security During President's Visit To Puri temple
Police: People Breaks Security During President's Visit To Puri temple. Flickr

The Odisha Police today said “some people” had breached the security cordon during President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to the Puri Jagannath Temple with his wife on March 18.

The statement by Puri Superintendent of Police Sarthak Sarangi comes a day after the state government denied receipt of any letter from the Rashtrapati Bhavan regarding the alleged misconduct of servitors in the 12th century shrine.

A section of the media had reported that the Rashtrapati Bhavan wrote to the temple administration, alleging inappropriate behaviour by servitors outside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple

Sarangi said the district collector of Puri, ahead of the President’s visit, was asked to ensure that no servitor goes close to the First couple or requests them to sign on any book during their visit to the temple.

“Though the temple administration had informed the servitors about the instruction, some people tried to go close to the President by breaching the security cordon. We had submitted a report to the temple administration in this connection,” Sarangi said.

However, the minutes of the temple management committee’s March 20 meeting, which had been in circulation on social media, mentioned that the Rashtrapati Bhavan expressed displeasure over the conduct of servitors.

It also said some servitors allegedly milled around Savita Kovind, while she was offering prayers inside the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, leading to occasional jostling.

Hon'ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, visited Belur Math on 29 Nov 2017
Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, visited Belur Math on 29 Nov 2017. Flickr

Sources in the temple administration, in their defence, said the March 20 meeting might have discussed the matter, based on a police report, which suggested that the security cordon was breached during the First couple’s visit.

The president of the Suar-Mahasuar Nijog (servitors’ organisation), Damodar Mahasuar, today lodged a complaint at the Singhadwara police station against Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal and former Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief Pradeep Jena, accusing them of trying to defame the servitors of the temple.

Binayak Dasmohapatra, the assistant secretary of another servitors’ body, said, “If such an incident had taken place, the police should have arrested the servitors immediately.” The temple administration is trying to malign the entire servitor community, he alleged.

Also read: Former US President Says, A Peaceful World Requires More Women Politicians Than Men

“Why did the temple administration and the police did not take action? Why did the temple administration not make the incident public after the meeting on March 20?” Dasmohapatra asked. (IANS)