At the Andhra Bhavan canteen,it was almost business as usual. The familiar sights were all there the man screamed your token number and stacks of thalis made their way to the tables decorated with fiery Andhra pickles.
With the creation of Telangana,the 29th state of the Indian Republic,the fate of Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi became uncertain. But,the Andhra Bhavan canteen wore a business-as-usual look.
It is too far-fetched an issue right now, K Ganapathi Reddy,an officer on special duty with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy,said. It is a question,but we have enough land to house two bhavans and two CM cottages.
Even to those employed at the canteen,the division was not of immediate concern. Let them at the top decide who will get what, Satyanarayana,who works at the canteen,said. Is there anything special planned for the menu when the announcement comes? No,not at all, he said.
They come to eat Andhra thalis,they ask for Andhra pickles,weve always been kept out,let it be that way, D Rama Krishna Reddy,an advocate with Supreme Court and a member of Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC),said. Well have a daawat,as we say it in Telangana,somewhere else.
The Andhra Pradesh government owns 20.22 acres in New Delhi. The 3.73-acre plot at 1,Ashoka Road,which houses the canteen,was acquired by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1920. Subsequently,a 5.11-acre plot,where the Hyderabad House is located,was acquired by the Nizam in 1936. Both these properties were inherited by the state of Andhra Pradesh.
On Tuesday,there were a few signs that Andhra Pradesh was gearing up for bifurcation. While the canteen had a regular day,the information centre,administrative office and reception were scenes of hectic activity and deliberation.
In administrative officer G Rama Mohans office,his colleagues from Seemandhra,Telangana and Rayalaseema sat,sipping coffee,and exchanging notes cordially. The way these TV channels play news,there is so much hype created. Everything is quiet here, he said.
In addition to routine security,Special Forces have been brought in to secure the Andhra Bhavan grounds. But the fear is baseless.
It was only at 5 pm,when the UPA government declared its endorsement for the creation of the state of Telangana,did Andhra Bhavan came alive with activity. Reporters sprung into action,the CMs cavalcade got ready to ferry him to the AICC headquarters and Telangana leaders broke into little celebrations.
For Ambedkar,a PHD student at JNU from Nalgonda district,the day was momentous. But he worried that a few coal-rich regions of Khammam could go away.
However,as reports of the full AICC resolution trickled in,the joyous mood turned sombre. We wont accept Polavaram as a national project and we wont accept Hyderabad as the joint capital for 10 years. Look what happened to Haryana and Chandigarh, TJAC member Suneetha Eluri said.