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Backward classes welfare: YSR ridicules Telugu Desam claim

Special Correspondent

Says TDP's love for backward classes an "illusion"


HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy has discounted the oft-repeated claim of the Telugu Desam that it is the champion of backward classes and said that it was the Congress Government, which had first provided political reservation for these sections in 1969.

Intervening during a debate on backward class welfare in the Assembly on Tuesday, Dr Reddy also said that the Telugu Desam's love for backward classes was an "illusion." The Chandrababu Naidu Government had made higher allotments for BC welfare only during election years, he added.

The Chief Minister said Adarana scheme was introduced in Assembly elections in 1999 and the allocation for BCs was hiked to Rs 310 crores along with the offer of "koti varaalu" (one-crore benefits) in 2004, both on the eve of elections. The allocation for BC welfare was Rs 290 crores in 1999, an election year, but was reduced to Rs 211 crores the next year.

`Genuine concern'

"Our budget at Rs 265 crores for 2004-05 may have been less compared to the Telugu Desam's highest amount of Rs 310 crores, but our love for BCs is sincere," he said.

Earlier, Y. Ramakrishnudu and T. Devender Goud, both belonging to the Telugu Desam, criticised the Government for non-release of scholarships to BC students, and for subjecting them to untold misery.

They said the Congress Government at the Centre too had washed off its hands with regard to BCs by releasing a meagre amount of Rs 47 crores towards scholarships for the entire country. They alleged that the GO No 23 had been issued to delete some castes from the BC list.

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