Saturday, February 19, 2011

18 MLAs show loyalty to Jagan in House

HYDERABAD: Supporters of former MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, cutting across party lines, demonstrated their loyalty to him in the Assembly, when they openly joined the Telugu Desam members in demanding release of fee reimbursement dues. The demonstration coincided with the launch of “Fees Poru” (struggle for fee) launched by Mr. Jagan at the Indira Park on Friday.

Eighteen MLAs, including two each from Praja Rajyam and the TDP, led by former Minister P. Subash Chandra Bose were waiting for an opportunity to express their solidarity with the protest launched by Mr. Jagan. The opportunity came in the form of the demand by the TDP for immediate release of funds for fee reimbursement, and the MLAs were on their feet within no time holding aloft papers demanding release of funds for tuition fee.

Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Bose and others decried the government's failure to come to the rescue of lakhs of students. They wondered why the government was not taking a serious view of the hardship faced by students at the end of the academic year.

The well-intentioned scheme launched by YSR was aimed at serving the needs of the poor, but the attitude of the government looked like ignoring students' interests, he said adding former Chief Minister K. Rosaiah issued orders last year to reimburse the fees. At least four Ministers – Pithani Satyanarayana (Social Welfare), Basawaraj Saraiah (BC Welfare), P. Balaraju (Tribal Welfare) and Botcha Satyanarayana (Transport) countered the open show of strength by Mr. Jagan's supporters. They said “orders have been issued for release of Rs. 1,000 crore and we are committed to continuing the scheme at any cost”.

Mr. Satyanarayana said the government had decided to release in instalments a sum of Rs. 3,400 crore towards arrears to the colleges by September.