Secretariat celebrates as Revanth takes charge

HYDERABAD: Exuberant celebrations enveloped the Dr B.R. Ambedkar Telangana State Secretariat on Thursday with Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy taking office and holding the first meeting of the state Cabinet of the first Congress government of the state.

As news began to spread that Revanth Reddy would go to the Secretariat, large crowds began converging at the complex, that was guarded like a fortress that even MLA found hard to enter. The air of revelry that pervaded the Secretariat on Wednesday with staff dancing in joy and declaring that they now feel liberated, was on Thursday replaced with enthusiasm among people who wanted to go in, see the place for themselves, and greet their new Chief Minister.

The Congress government has made it clear that the Secretariat is for the people and everyone is welcome to enter it, many who rushed there on Thursday found that it might still take a day or two for systems to be put in place for this to happen. Police officials manning the several gates of the complex were seen explaining that Thursday would not be the best to go in, and, in some cases, pleading with enthusiastic groups of people that they could probably do so in a couple of days.

Security was tight but not oppressive as the day also marked the first time Revanth Reddy entered the Secretariat as Telangana’s first Congress Chief Minister, and the state’s second.

A few hundred people managed to gain entry and could be seen taking pictures of themselves with the Secretariat complex as the backdrop. “This is my first time here,” gushed Gopal Chowhad, who said he is from Kodangal, Revanth Reddy’s constituency. “It is really good that he is the CM and not any other leader of Congress. People voted for him,” he said, before rushing off to be with his group of three friends to take more pictures.

When Revanth Reddy arrived in his convoy and he stepped out of his car, the crowd erupted into chants of “Revanth anna zindabad.” The new Chief Minister, who was welcomed by Chief Secretary A. Santhi Kumari, and senior police officials, was presented with a guard of honour after which he made his way into the inner courtyard of the building

When he entered the courtyard, loud cheers and slogans of “Revanth Reddy zindabad” once again rent the air, this time coming from hundreds of Secretariat employees and staff who lined up along the expansive balconies of the first, second and third floors of the building. The Chief Minister waved to them, shook hands with some of the staff members who waited for him on the walkway.

Soon after, as he made his way to the official entrance for the Chief Minister, priests greeted him with Vedic chants. After reaching the Chief Minister’s Office on the sixth floor of the building, which was hitherto practically inaccessible for most people, he briefly sat in his office where he was joined by his wife, and the priests blessed him and presented him with shawls and prasadam.

Meanwhile, members of the new state cabinet began reaching the Secretariat for the new Telangana Government’s first cabinet meeting that was chaired by Revanth Reddy. Battling through a phalanx of television and answering questions, the ministers made their way to the sixth floor, where they attended the meeting of the state cabinet.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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