Facing a huge backlash on social media and by the Opposition parities, the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government has withdrawn an order which effectively renamed a scheme in Andhra Pradesh after the chief minister’s father and former CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
A government order issued by the School Education Department had renamed an award scheme called “Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar Awards” to “YSR. Vidya Puraskars.”
The awards will be distributed on National Education Day on 11 November.
The name of the award scheme was changed following a proposal by the Commissioner of School Education of Andhra Pradesh.
Under the scheme, six students in every mandal are given an award and scholarship for obtaining the highest scores in Class 10. The awardees include a student each from BC, SC, and ST categories, a girl student and two students from the OC category.
The chief minister’s office says that he was not aware of the Government Order until it was reported in the media.
YSRCP Govt Known to ‘Rename Schemes’
The YSRCP government has renamed many schemes implemented by the previous TDP government after YS Rajasekhara Reddy. The TDP government had named most of its schemes after its founder NT Rama Rao.
Recently, on 15 October, the farmer welfare scheme ‘YSR Rythu Bharosa’ was launched. The scheme provides cash incentives to farmers, and is very similar to the ‘Annadata Sukhibhava’ scheme launched by the previous government.
After receiving criticism for including funds from the Centre under the scheme, it was launched as YSR Rythu Bharosa-PM KISAN Yojana. The YSR Aarogyasri was also criticised for its name, as it is partially funded through the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
At the very first cabinet meeting in June, the previous government’s healthcare scheme for the poor was renamed from ‘NTR Vaidya Seva’ to ‘YSR Arogyasri'. The pension scheme ‘NTR Bharosa' was renamed as ‘YSR Pension Kanuka'.
The ‘Anna’ canteens, which were also named after NTR and provided affordable meals to the poor, were shut down in August. The government had stated that the closure was temporary, and the canteens were expected to be reopened under the name of ‘Rajanna’ canteens.
The opposition parties, mainly TDP and JSP have been trending the hashtag #YSRCPInsultsAbdulKalam
( Published in arrangement with The News Minute)