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A Simple Leader Wins London’s Confidence

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu wins the confidence of London’s business community and the Indian diaspora with his down to earth mannerism and meticulous preparation to answer to the queries of billionaires and commoner….writes Dr Sekhar Vemuri . Pics: Prabhakar Kaza    

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr Chandra Babu Naidu paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Parliament Square in London

London is still recovering from the onslaught of winter. But the rain Gods were kind to Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh during his two days historic visit to the capital city of Britain. The tall and bearded leader is different from others. Instead of wearing a formal suite, the simple Telugu Desam Party supremo prefers his trade mark cream colour pant and shirt to meet and greet Telugu diaspora and the business community.

He shared his vision with billionaire Gopi Hinduja, British Commonwealth Minister Oliver Letwin besides students from Cambridge and Oxford. He talked about a new capital, a metro city Amaravati and at the same time he sought the help of NRIs to adopt thousands of Andhra villages .

“To make our state sustainable and smart, it is not only necessary to have smart cities but also smart villages and towns,” said Naidu.

“There are 13 districts, 664 mandals, 111 municipal bodies, 12,950 gram panchayats and 16,250 villages, including wards and divisions. If these 16,250 villages can be adopted, the entire state can be transformed into ‘Smart Andhra Pradesh,” the chief minister told Asian Lite.

“I appeal to NRIs, NGOs, VIPs, Corporates, Philanthropists, Ministers, MLAs, etc to adopt one village each and develop our state into a ‘Smart Andhra Pradesh’.”

“I was spellbound by limestone carving of ‘The Great Departure of Prince Siddhartha’ and I explored the stupas, sculptures, stone carvings, pillars and other relics excavated from the Buddhist sites in the ancient Amaravati near the new capital city,” he wrote after the visit.

The highlight of the visit is his meeting with Nikhil Rathi, CEO of London Stock Exchange. Mr Rathi has promised to help raise funds for Amaravati. The visit also took Naidu to meeting with UK smart city experts at Greater London Authority, RICS, Aecom, Benoy, Arup, Mott MacDonald, Mace, Gleeds, Catapult, StadivArena, Vodafone, Rolls Royce, Herbert Smith Freehills, JCB, UK Export Finance and ARM. The King’s College, one of the UK’s largest teaching hospitals, will set up a 1,000-bed world-class medical facility in Amaravati.

A fruitful visit by a simple man. We are sure the state will benefit from this historic trip of Dr Naidu. Asian Lite Newsdesk compiles a gallery to showcase the historic trip to the readers. Please send your comments to newsdesk@asianlite.com….@asianlitemedia