‘SC categorization Bill to be introduced in LS’
Modalities discussed with SC panel chief, says YSR
Usha Mehra panel proposals to be sent to Centre
YSR asks Krishna Madiga to call off protest
Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy said on Thursday that the Bill on categorisation of Scheduled Castes in Andhra Pradesh would be introduced in the current session of Parliament.
Talking to reporters here on Thursday after participating in several local programmes including Tungabhadra Pushkaram here, Dr. Reddy said he had discussed the modalities of the Bill with Chairman of SC Commission Buta Singh.
According to Dr. Reddy, Mr. Singh promised to accept the recommendations of Usha Mehra panel and forward them to the Centre with certain remarks.
He asked MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga to call off his stir considering the swift developments on the categorisation issue. The fruits of the long struggle by Mr. Krishna Madiga for categorisation were not too far, he said.
Earlier, after inaugurating Rayalaseema University, he promised Rs. 50 crore for the development of the university. He promised a building for girls hostel. He also inaugurated an indoor stadium on the campus constructed with Rs. 10 lakh donated by former MLA and industrialist T.G. Venkatesh.
Many eyebrows were raised over the absence of Mr. Venkatesh at the inauguration of the stadium.
He was reportedly hurt with the police not allowing a rally of sportspersons to the stadium. Soon after landing at APSP campus, Dr. Reddy drove to the Tungabhadra Ghat at Sankalbagh and offered prayers.
He visited the TTD replica temple and offered prayers.
Later, he unveiled the statues of former Chief Minister Damodaram Sanjivaiah at Congress Office Circle, Babu Jagjivan Ram at Five Road junction.
Dr. Reddy inaugurated the multi-storeyed housing complex on the outskirts of the city and laid foundation for Rs. 36 crore drinking water schemes and Rs. 240 crore flood wall construction schemes.
Dr. Reddy spent nearly 30 minutes at the residence of MP Kotla Suryaprakasa Reddy and had lunch with Ministers and MLAs.
Curbs irk public
Bandh like conditions prevailed on the city streets in connection with the visit of Chief Minister to the Pushkaram Ghat. The police closed all main roads to the public and forced shop keepers to down shutters. Even roadside eateries were closed. Pilgrims were seen murmuring that they had lost one day out of 12 days of Pushkaram because of the VIP visit.
‘Overbridge soon across Tungabhadra’
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy said that a road-over-bridge would be constructed across river Tungabhadra connecting Alampur in Mahabubnagar district and Nandikotkur in Kurnool district.
Speaking to presspersons at Alampur on Thursday the Chief Minister said that steps were being taken to construct bridge with an estimated cost of Rs.55 crore for which tenders would be called and foundation would be laid within a month. He said works would be completed within the three months.
The completion of the bridge will reduce a distance of about 70 kms to the villagers of Ralampadu, Sulthanpur and Jilledupadu located on the other side of Tungabhadra River but comes under Mahabubnagar district. Chief Minister came to Alampur to participate in the on going Tungabhadra pushkaram.
YSR attends wedding
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was greeted by passersby as he arrived by road from Visakhapatnam to attend the wedding reception of Minister Botcha Satyanarayana’s brother B. Satish and Parvathi on Thursday evening.
The reception was held at the open ground at Pradeep Nagar. Ministers Jana Reddy, Kanna Lakshminarayana, Konathala Ramakrishna, Ratnakara Rao, Shatrucharla Vijayarama Raju, Mandali Buddha Prasad, Vanama Venkateswara Rao, J.C. Diwakara Reddy and N. Raghuveera Reddy were among those who attended.
The Chief Minister stayed for about 10 minutes and blessed the couple before proceeding to the house of Mr. Botcha Satyanarayana’s younger brother Srinivasa Rao.
SC categorisation bill likely in winter session, says CM
In a major step towards garnering a lion’s share of votes of Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the coming elections, the Congress has announced its tacit support for the SC categorisation bill.
Clearing the seeds of doubt among the Madigas over the tabling of the controversial SC categorisation bill in Parliament, chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy said the bill could be passed in the ongoing winter session. “The long pending demand of Madigas, a major community among the SCs, could be a reality if everything goes well in the next few days,” a Congress leader averred.
The CM, who visited Kurnool to take part in Tungabhadra Pushkarams on Thursday, said the SC Commission has categorically given a go-ahead for the SC categorisation bill and sent a report to the government after going through the Usha Mehra committee report.
Rajasekhara Reddy said Manda Krishna Madiga’s struggle for SCs classification has paid the dividends. “The dream of SCs for categorisation would be realised soon,” he said and urged Krishna to stop agitating over the issue.
Meanwhile, in a clear move to placate the Kotla family his political arch rivals YSR went to Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy’s house for lunch. Sources said with elections round the corner, YSR’s visit assumes significance since the Kotla family has a strong grip on the district politics.
Former CM Vijayabhaskar Reddy’s son Suryaprakash Reddy is sitting MP of Kurnool, while his daughter-in-law Sujathamma is Dhone MLA.“Chief Minister’s lunch diplomacy was to keep the couple and their supporters happy ahead of the elections,” a political observer said.
The Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, who visited New Delhi after the election results to five state Assemblies were announced, has instructed his close confidantes in the party to prepare a report based on the experiences of the parties which won the election. According to a close confidante of Dr Rajasekhar Reddy, the Chief Minister has obtained first hand information of the political situation in those states by talking to the local Congress leaders. He also collected local newspaper clippings. Dr Reddy, before returning to Hyderabad, told them to study the strategies adopted by the leaders belonging to various political parties including the Congress and the BJP. “Find out why the BJP did not fare well in Rajasthan and why the Congress lost in Madhya Pradesh,” he told his confidantes.
This feedback is necessary for the Chief Minister as he is leading the Congress in the ensuing Assembly elections, said the source. Even though the former Rajasthan chief minister, Ms Vasundhara Raje, followed the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi’s plan of denying renomination to more than 50 per cent of the tainted sitting MLAs, she was not able to win the elections. The initial information that the Chief Minister got was that Ms Raje, while following Mr Modi’s experiment, had failed to convince the leaders who were denied party tickets to work for the party. As a result, all of them contested the elections as rebels, cutting into the BJP’s vote bank and helped the Congress to win. In Delhi, the Congress victory was attributed to the personal charisma of Ms Sheila Dixit who has come to be known as the Chief Minister of development. In MP, the Congress defeat was attributed to the presence of several leaders with no one supporting the PCC Chief Mr Suresh Pachowri.
The AICC general secretary and the state Congress in-charge, Mr. M. Veerappa Moily, said elections to the Parliament and the state Assembly would be organised only after April, 2009. Speaking to newsmen at Mantralayam in the Kurnool district on Thursday, he hoped that the Congress would win both at the Centre and the state.
Praising the governance of the Chief Minister, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, Mr Moily said he was the No. 1 among the Chief Ministers providing good governance in the country. Mr Moily said the Congress won the elections in New Delhi, Rajasthan and Mizoram due to the development programmes being implemented by the UPA government. He said the government had helped farmers by waiving farm loans to the tune of Rs 75,000 crore. Mr. Moily said the Congress government had prevented distress migration of rural people by implementing the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. He said development schemes would help the Congress win elections.
YSR performs pushkar pujas
The Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy took part in the Tungabhadra pushkarams on Thursday and performed special pujas. Dr Reddy reached Alampur in Mahbubnagar district and performed pujas on the occasion of the pushkarams and later reached Kurnool. He performed special pujas at Sankalbagh Pushkar ghat in Kurnool city. Dr Reddy asked the district collector, Mr. Mukeshkumar Meena, about the arrangements being made for the pushkarams and expressed satisfaction over the arrangements.
After performing Pushkara pujas in the Tungabhadra, the Chief Minister also performed pujas to Tungabhadra Pushkara Mata statue installed above the Pushkar ghat. He presented silk robes to the deities in the Tirumala model temple and performed special pujas. Priests accorded a traditional Purna Kumbha welcome to the Chief Minister.
The Legislative Council chairman, Mr. A. Chakrapani, the major irrigation minister, Mr. Ponnala Lakshmaiah, the marketing minister, Mr. M. Mareppa, the civil supplies minister, Mr. Kasu Venkatakrishna Reddy, the MPs, Messrs Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy and S.P.Y. Reddy, the MLAs of Kurnool district, the MLC, Mr. Srinivasulu and others accompanied the Chief Minister.
After performing Pushkar pujas, the Chief Minister unveiled the statues of former chief minister Damo-daram Sanjeevaiah, and former deputy prime minister Babu Jagjivan Ram. The Chief Minister also unveiled the Pushkar Ka-lasam.
The Chief Minister, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, expressed confidence that the SC reservation categorisation issue would be solved in the present session of Parliament. Speaking to newsmen here on Thursday, he said he had discussed the issue with the National SC, ST Commission chairman, Mr. Buta Singh, in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Dr. Reddy said that Mr. Buta Singh had told him that he would recommend to the Central government to implement the Usha Mehra Commission report in the state also. The Chief Minister said that he would take steps to ensure that the SC categorisation bill was introduced and passed in the present Parliament session after Mr. Buta Singh made the recommendation.
Dr. Reddy urged the Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti founder president, Mr. Manda Krishna Madiga, to call off his agitation in Hyderabad on the issue. Madiga Dandora leaders met the Chief Minister when he went to the house of the Kurnool MP, Mr. Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy, for lunch, and apprised him of the agitation launched by Mr. Krishna Madiga. Dr. Reddy informed them about his talks in New Delhi on the issue and asked them not to stage protests.
Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated the administrative building of the Rayalaseema University and the T.G. Venkatesh indoor stadium and addressed university students. He promised that fee reimbursement facility would be provided to poor students among upper castes from the next academic year. He said the government was taking several steps for development of education and urged students to use them for their growth. The state ministers, Messrs. Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy, M. Mareppa, and others were present.