news Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 05:30

  The Telangana government on Tuesday declared a holiday as a mark of respect to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. All government offices, educational institutions in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana remained closed.  However, in what political analysts are seeing as a jibe, it was a working day in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh as Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said the former president was against declaring a holiday on his death. "Don't declare a holiday on my death, instead work an extra day. This was his message," Naidu said, paying tributes to Kalam at a meeting held at the state secretariat in Hyderabad. While Telangana claimed that the holiday was to honour the former president, who had a special connection to Hyderabad, the Andhra chief minister said Kalam and former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew were the great leaders who did not want their countries to declare holidays on their death. Quoting from speeches of Kalam, the TDP chief said he would continue to inspire people, especially the youth.  Naidu said it was his good fortune that he also played a role in suggesting Kalam for the top post when National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power at the centre. "I also advised then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee that Abdul Kalam will be the right choice as he will inspire youth and enhance the country's prestige," he said. Despite the suggestive jibe, both the chief ministers agreed that Kalam's death was a great loss to India and his contributions brought pride to the nation.   With IANS