Dr Chenna Reddy was a tough person to work with. When he was posted as Governor of Punjab in April 1982, the laidback attitude of the Raj Bhawan was in for a rude shock. Dr Reddy was the CM of Andhra Pradesh and Indira Gandhi asked him to step down and take on as the Governor of Punjab. His days are marked with pomp and show — his diary was full of appointments sometimes four while sometimes more than that. And occasional tea and dinner appointments happened almost daily. The routine was more akin to what was at the residence of a Chief Minister. The occasional tour to the districts took place in an open durbar with all district officers in attendance at every district visited. The staff at the Raj Bhawan was not accustomed to such an onslaught of visitors and entertainment.
There was hardly any time off for the A’s DC too; the police ADC went on long leave, his replacement applied for a course at Hyderabad and Dr Reddy in fit of temper told the police chief that he would do without a police ADC. Fortunately, I was a bachelor then and made of sterner stuff having trained under Col (Later Lt Gen) Kamaljit Singh in 7 Cavalry. I worked day in and day out without many off days but the most difficult situation was to control the house staff who were at times on the verge of revolt, as they had never worked so hard. After 10 months in office Dr Chenna Reddy resigned as Governor and went back to join active politics in Andhra Pradesh. One could feel the sigh of relief amongst the staff and the officers of the state.
Working as ADC with Dr Chenna Reddy gave me a very rich experience of working for long hours under pressure. Dr Reddy had a very tall standing in the political field and I could calculate this from the fact that we were kept in waiting for long periods of time before an appointment with Indira Gandhi materialised for other Governor’s, I served with. Whereas we were asked what date would suit Dr Reddy by the PM’s staff when he sought an appointment to meet Gandhi. Chief Justice SS Sandhawalia was sworn in as Governor of Punjab on departure of Dr Reddy. Things in the Raj Bhawan got back to normal as in the earlier period.
For sometime the staff was at a loss for what to do as they had got used to high levels of activity. I prevailed upon justice Sandhawalia to ask the IG police for posting an ADC from the police at the Raj Bhawan. Avinder Singh Brar an IPS officer of 1979 Batch was posted in. He joined a month later when AP Sharma had been sworn in as Governor of Punjab. AP Sharma was an INTUC leader from Bihar and had served as aviation and communications minister in the union cabinet.
— An ex Cavalry Major, the author was a member of the Haryana Legislature