The State Legislative Council on Tuesday adopted the A.P. Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Bill, 2012 after an amendment moved by the main Opposition, Telugu Desam, was defeated.
Council chairman A. Chakrapani put the amendment to the Bill for voting after the TDP members in a repeat of what they did in the Assembly insisted on incorporating provisions to allocate funds to SCs in line with the A, B, C and D categories. The amendment was lost with 45 of the 75 members opposing it, while five members remaining neutral.
Surprisingly, Jupudi Prabhakara Rao, nominated member who is supporting YSR Congress, voted against the amendment, in contrast to the stand taken by YSRC in Assembly. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Rajanarsimha tried to convince the members repeatedly that the issue of categorisation was not incorporated in the original Bill in view of the Supreme Court’s verdict striking down the classification of SCs. He assured members that sufficient safeguards had been put in place to ensure that funds allotted to these sections were fully utilised for their welfare. Earlier, Ministers Pithani Satyanarayana and P. Balaraju appealed to the Opposition parties to enable smooth passage of the Bill, considered a first of its kind legislation in the country.