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Pranab Mukherjee to wind up 13-day South tour tomorrow

Monday, 30 December 2013 - 7:02pm IST | Agency: PTI

President Pranab Mukherjee will complete his 13-day southern sojourn at the Rashtrapati Nilayam at Bolarum here tomorrow and fly back to New Delhi.

Apart from programmes in different cities and states, the contentious Andhra Pradesh bifurcation issue kept the President predominantly engaged during his traditional annual retreat here.

Political parties and other groups from either side of the regional divide made a beeline to the Rashtrapati Nilayam to plead their respective cases with the President, for and against the proposed division of the state.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu, TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, a host of state and Central ministers from the two regions, MPs and MLAs were among those who met the President on different days on the bifurcation issue.

The President landed here on the night of December 19 and the next morning he flew to Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi to attend four events.

The next two days, he was busy receiving political delegations from either Telangana or Seemaandhra.

The Chief Minister, who had been stoutly opposing the bifurcation, was closeted in a meeting for an hour on December 22, triggering speculation that he discussed the draft AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 referred to the state Legislature by the President.

But the Chief Minister's Office promptly dismissed the talk and said the meeting was purely a "courtesy call".

On the 23rd, the President visited Anantapuram to attend the valedictory of the birth centenary celebrations of former President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy and on the 24th attended a dinner hosted by state Governor E S L Narasimhan, the only programme the former had in Hyderabad city. 

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