YSR launches ‘Ayushmanbhava’
Health insurance cover for Vedic pundits aged between 60 and 75 years
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy formally announced the launch of ‘Ayushmanbhava’, a health insurance scheme for the benefit of the Vedic and shastra pundits aged between 60 and 75 years, here on Sunday.
The scheme, which will be operated jointly by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and the United India Insurance Company Limited, will come into force from the financial year 2009-10. According to the broad contours of the project, the TTD will pay an annual premium of Rs. 1,236 per head for 1,000 pundits under its Veda Parirakshana Trust to the UII, for which the pundits will get a health cover of up to Rs. 1 lakh.
Dr. Reddy said that the scheme was conceived in recognition of the services rendered by the pundits in providing moral guidance to the public, thus helping restore the social values. “Any State is deemed to have failed in its duty if it does not take care of its guiding lights,” he observed. On the proposed scheme mooted to develop temples as a fountainhead of knowledge and a centre for spiritual awakening in a society, the Chief Minister said that it envisaged a comprehensive financial package for all those involved in a temple, such as priests, attendants, temple cooks, instrumentalists etc.
TTD chairman D.K. Audikesavulu called the scheme a small offering to the matchless service rendered by the pundits, while Executive Officer K.V. Ramanachary spoke on the priesthood training conducted to the members of the fishermen and tribal communities, as part of a larger goal to take Hinduism to the excluded social groups.
G. Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director of UII appreciated the State government for its novel initiative.
YSR shoots barbs at grand alliance
Dubs the alliance and Prajya Rajyam as rudderless and sundry parties
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy virtually spat venom at the grand alliance. . Equally strident was his attack on PR president Chiranjeevi, who he alleged is ready to strike a deal with any party without any qualms.
Dr. Reddy made an election speech and has nearly kick-started the party’s election campaign from the temple city of Tirupati while addressing a public meeting at the SV University Stadium after the launch of the Rs.1,389 cr Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
Union Minister for Urban Development, S. Jaipal Reddy launched the Mission.
Rajasekhar Reddy went hammer and tongs at the NDA and the TDP governments, which he alleged had ruined the lives of farmers, farm workers, rural artisans, women with their anti-poor and neo-rich policies. Dr. Reddy used his 30-minute diatribe against them to list out their ‘all round failures’ and warned the public to beware of their dubious political manoeuvres to usurp power once again by hook or crook. If you vote them to power, they will scrap all the developmental schemes and put the clock back once again, he warned. Dr. Reddy’s remarks were particularly incisive against the TDP and the two Left parties. He said it is an irony that TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, who during his rule dubbed agriculture as a ‘futile job’, should now try to shower freebies on agriculture and rural population. Training his guns at Chirajneevi, Dr. Reddy ridiculed that a person led a flashy and cosy life in the tinsel world earning crores of rupees should now talk of the plight of the poor and ‘social justice’.
YSR to lay stone for Thotapalli extension channel
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy will lay the foundation stone for Thotapalli extension channel in Gajapathinagaram constituency during his visit to the district on February 20, according to Minister for Housing Botcha Satyanarayana. The execution of channel was estimated at Rs.70 crores. The channel would irrigate 15,000 more acres in that constituency.
The Minister, while inspecting arrangements on Saturday at Bobbili, said that the Chief Minister would arrive at 10.45 a.m. on that day and participate in various programmes till 1 pm. Mr. Satyanarayana inspected integrated emergency centre for women and child protection built at a cost of Rs.44 lakhs, Rani Mallamma park that was developed with Rs.30 lakhs, and a tank that would be developed under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. The Chief Minister would inaugurate them.
Later, Dr. Reddy would proceed to Gajapathinagaram constituency where he would lay the foundation stone for Thotapalli channel. Mr. Satyanarayana instructed officials to make arrangements for the convenience of the public.
The Chief Minister will lay the foundation stone for the drinking water project estimated to cost Rs. 38crores under JNNURM in Vizianagaram. After staying here for the night he would leave for Visakhapatnam the next morning. Bobbili Municipal Chairperson Baby Nayana, Parvathipuram RDO R. Pranshanti, Superintending Engineer (R & B) K. Kantimathi accompanied him, according to press release issued by Divisional Public Relations Officer, Parvathipuram.
Chief Minister’s claim on housing disputed
‘Scheme is being misused and money released even for whitewashed houses’
Disputing Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s claim that 39 lakh Indiramma houses were constructed so far for the poor, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Sunday described it as the “biggest scam” and urged people not to be deceived by the ruling party.
At a press conference here TDP leader Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu pointed out that the Governor’s address to both Houses on February 2 had mentioned that 19 lakh houses were constructed till December 31, 2008 and another five lakh would be completed by March 31.
How could anybody build 20 lakh houses in such a short span, he asked and wondered if Dr. Reddy possessed ‘Aladdin’s magic genie lamp’.
He alleged that ineligible people were benefited by the scheme and not SCs, STs and BCs. He demanded Dr. Reddy to release the beneficiaries’ list with caste-wise break-up.
Mr. Naidu said the scheme was being misused and money was being released even for whitewashed houses.
Pointing out that the cost of 20 lakh houses would be around Rs.6,500 crore, he alleged that the amount would be withdrawn and spent by Congressmen for electoral purposes.
Charging the Congress with resorting to “gimmicks”, he faulted it for removing 20 per cent per cent restriction for other castes imposed by the Telugu Desam regime under the housing scheme. He disputed the government’s claim that 17 lakh pattas were given to the poor and said not even five lakh were distributed in urban areas.
Gain expertise to be competitive, Chief Minister tells students
Inaugurates C.V. Raman science block built at a cost of Rs. 12 crore on the premises of Yogi Vemana University
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Sunday exhorted students of Yogi Vemana University to develop into professionals and undergo training to gain expertise on a par with their counterparts in international universities.
Promising government funds and programmes, he said it was the duty of the university to churn out qualitative students. Dr. Reddy was addressing students in a meeting on the university premises.
Earlier, Dr. Reddy inaugurated the C.V. Raman science block constructed at a cost of 12. crore and Pennar, Papaghni and Cheyyeru hostel buildings built with Rs. 4 crore each, Ahlaad guest house costing Rs. 5 crore. He also unveiled plaques for a Rs. 5 crore rural water supply scheme from Pennar river to the university. The Chief Minister also opened the 11-km-long Kadapa bypass ring road constructed at a cost of Rs. 30 crore, tahsildar and MPDO offices to be built at Mydukur costing Rs. 65 lakh among others.
He unveiled a total of 14 plaques put up in a row on the university premises. The Vice-Chancellor A. Ramachandra Reddy sought sanction of Rs. 200 crore for the development of the university and an amphitheatre on the varsity premises.
Minister for Higher Education R. Chenga Reddy, Kadapa ZP chairperson D. Jyothi Reddy, Mayor P. Ravindranath Reddy, MLAs Mohd. Ahmedullah, D.L. Ravindra Reddy , faculty members and students participated.
MRPS sets Feb. 20 ‘deadline’ for YSR
Manda Krishna, founder president of MRPS, has given February 20 as deadline to Chief Minister to see to it that SC classification bill is introduced in Parliament. Addressing ‘Madiga Viswaroopa Maha Sabha’ (State conference of Madiga sub-castes) in Rajahmundry on Sunday, he demanded Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy go to Delhi before Feb.20 and meet AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and see to it that the classification bill is introduced before the end of this Parliament session.
“If he fails to do so, Congress will face the wrath and MRPS will see the end of that party in coming election. We will swing into direct action and Dr. Reddy has pay a heavy price for his inaction,” warned Manda Krishna.
MRPS president Dandu Veeraiah also spoke. East Godavari MRPS president G. Syam Babu presided.