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Unwell CM at YSR meet

Hyderabad, Sept. 2: Andhra Pradesh chief minister K. Rosaiah, who is down with viral fever and has been advised complete rest by doctors, today skipped all official events to mark the first death anniversary of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

In the morning, a video clipping of Rosaiah saying he was pained to miss the events was released to the electronic media. But the chief minister surprised all by briefly attending the YSR memorial meeting at Gandhi Bhavan in the evening.

The regular cabinet meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been put off. Disaster management and health department review meetings in the wake of unprecedented rain and epidemic in the Godavari basin have also been postponed. Fourteen people have died in the rains in the state.

The Raj Bhavan has emerged as the nerve centre of the administration with governor E.S.L. Narasimhan taking care of core issues. He was instrumental in the appointment of the new police chief and vice-chancellors in state universities.

Narasimhan, who replaced N.D.Tiwari as governor earlier this year, gets a daily news digest sent to him by the state information department along with English translations of any anti-government and anti-Congress news reports.

Secretariat sources said Narasimhan gave a full briefing of the political situation in the state to the Prime Minister when he was here yesterday. “The governor will play a major role in state affairs till the Telangana and leadership issues are thrashed out by the Centre and the high command,” a Congress minister said.

Rosaiah sent education minister Manikya Varaprasad Rao to Kurnool, where YSR’s helicopter had crashed, to represent him at the main event organised by the government in the late chief minister’s memory. A giant memorial is being built there on a 22-acre site.

Thousands gathered at YSR’s Idupulapaya estate in Kadapa district to pay tribute. Son and Congress MP Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who has challenged Rosaiah’s leadership, and his family held a prayer meeting at his samadhi.

A helicopter hired by an admirer and specially flown from Bangalore showered rose petals on “YSR Ghat” during the prayer meeting.

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