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HYDERABAD: On Friday, for one day, the government of AP will function from Chennai. Governor Sushilkumar Shinde, chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and his entire cabinet will be in the Tamil Nadu capital for a marriage.

Obviously, it is no ordinary marriage: the son of K V P Ramachandra Rao, the power behind the throne in AP, is entering into wedlock. For the uninitiated, Rao is on paper an adviser to the government, but also the de facto CM.

Shinde and Rajasekhara Reddy will be among 7,000 Very-and some not so-Important Persons expected to attend the marriage, although approximately 10,000 invitations have been sent out.

“This is a function which no Congressman and civil servant of consequence wants to miss,”confessed an IAS officer. Many Union ministers and AICC functionaries will be there too.

On Thursday, tickets on all flights to Chennai were booked and there was a mad scramble for VIP/emergency quota seats on trains to that city. The smarter ones were planning to take a detour to get there: fly to Tirupati or Bangalore and from there to Chennai.

Alarmed by the turn of events, Ramachandra Rao has now issued an informal diktat to civil servants-after having invited them to the marriage: don’t come. Reason: Government work in Hyderabad will come to a grinding halt. According to information available to The Times of India, as of now only officers of the Chief Minister’s Office are planning to heed Rao’s advice. News of the diktat has not reached many others, and even if it has, they don’t know whether to take it at face value.

Incidentally, the marriage is being solemnised in Chennai not just because the bride’s family-the Venkatagiri rajas-is based there. Ramachandra Rao, who likes to maintain a low profile, felt that a lavish function in Hyderabad would attract adverse attention.

For this reason, he is not organising a reception in Hyderabad. But it is this latter fact which has become a matter of discomfiture because it is pushing Hyderabadis to go to Chennai.

In line with the political alliance of the Congress and DMK in the central government, the marriage is being solemnised in the hall of the DMK Charitable Trust on Anna Salai, is adjacent to the DMK office. Party supremo M Karunanidhi’s grandson (the progeny of Stalin) also exchanged marriage vows here. It was also where the Congress solemnised its alliance with the DMK. And for all those who care for it, the name of Ramachandra Rao’s son and the groom is Sandeep. He is a software professional working for Satyam Computers. The bride is Supriya.

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