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Government accused of neglecting youth

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, JAN. 23. The caretaker Government on Friday came in for sharp criticism by the Opposition, for its anti-youth policies, cutting down jobs, not filling vacancies, privatising public sector industries and truncating the Chief Minister's Empowerment of Youth (CMEY) Programme, thereby shutting all avenues of employment.

Leaders belonging to the Congress, the CPI(M), the CPI, the TRS and the MIM said it was ironical that the Government, after creating a situation where youth had no option but to look to extremism, wanted to make naxalism the main plank for the coming elections.

They were speaking at a meeting on "Election manifesto, promise of jobs and implementation," jointly organised by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), All India Youth Federation (AIYF) and the Andhra Pradesh Youth Congress (APYC). The meeting later adopted a resolution demanding that political parties include provision of jobs, withdrawal of Government Orders restricting employment opportunities in their manifestos.

The former Congress Legislature Party leader, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, said it was pathetic that the Government was not prepared to fill posts reserved for weaker sections after making "tall promises'' during the birth anniversaries of B. R. Ambedkar and Babu Jagjivan Ram. It was "religiously following'' the World Bank direction of cutting down Government jobs by 1.9 per cent every year. The Government had promised Rs. 200 crores for the CMEY but had not released any amount, he alleged.

"The Government is playing with the lives of unemployed youth. If the Congress returns to power, it will see that these policies are reversed. It would ensure that the AP Public Service Commission's notifications for filling vacancies are issued every year and unemployed youth need not wait for years together," he said.

B. V. Raghavulu, secretary of the State CPI(M), charged the Government with adopting a "hype and hide" policy of promising a lot, doing nothing and fudging figures. The World Bank, the important one being cutting down jobs, dictated all policies. "It is adopting a joblessness growth model of development and deploying machines where jobs could be created for hundreds of people.''

Asaduddin Owaisi of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) highlighted the difference in figures of employment. In the progress report released by the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, claimed his Government had created 18.25 lakh new jobs during the last nine years, quoting Industries department. But the Labour department, as mentioned in the Budget papers, puts the present employment itself at 14.69 lakh.

S. Sudhakar Reddy, secretary of the State council of the CPI, extended support to the struggle by youth and said the party would work for the withdrawal of Government Orders that came in the way of providing employment to youth. But he asked them to take the first step of working for the defeat of the Telugu Desam party. N. Narasimha Reddy, general secretary of the TRS, said it was because of the Government's employment policy that more and more youth were attracted towards the People's War brand of extremism.

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