APCC president Botcha Satyanarayana, also a Minister in the Cabinet, on Friday surprised many by declaring that he would “raise” the issue of separate sub-plans for Backward Classes and the Minorities in the Assembly.
“You will see the issue being raised in the next two days. Wait and see what I am going to speak in the House. The SC and ST sub-plan will be the inspiration,” Mr. Satyanarayana told reporters at Gandhi Bhavan on Friday after the Government introduced a Bill on SC/ST Sub Plan in the Assembly.
The PCC chief’s assertion of raising an issue, normally the privilege enjoyed by the Opposition, left everyone wondering if he had forgotten that he is a Minister and shared the collective responsibility of the Cabinet.
The decision of the Cabinet was to bring about legislation lending statutory status to the sub plan for SCs and STs and as a senior Minister, he should be in the forefront of ensuring the smooth passage of the Bill rather than complicate it by bring other issues and embarrassing the Government.
Mr. Satyanarayana, who is the Transport Minister, was however very vocal in putting forward his views that the BCs and the minorities should get their fair share in budget. His support for the separate budgetary allocation is similar to the demand by the MIM asking for sub-plan for the minorities.
In the same breath however, he said the Government was committed to the uplift of the Dalits and tribal people, while hailing the introduction of the Bill on sub plan as historic occasion for Andhra Pradesh.
Significantly all through his 25 minute press conference, Mr. Satyanarayana gave all credit for the sub-plan to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi avoiding any reference to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
He admitted that in the last few years, funds meant for SCs and STs had been diverted for projects like ORR and Hussainsagar cleaning. “Why should we lie, it is a fact that funds were diverted for other purpose. Can the opposition party like TDP vouch for the fact that during its rule, funds meant for the SCs and STs were not diverted,” he questioned.