Some Congress leaders too criticise government’s decision to dilute scheme

The government was at the receiving end from none other than its own Ministers and ruling party leaders, who vehemently opposed the decision to make the Backward Class and Economically Backward Class students bear the extra burden under the uniform fee structure for engineering and other professional courses.

Congress leaders also joined the entire opposition in hitting out at the government decision to make the BC and EBC students pay extra fee beyond the stipulated Rs. 31,000 per year fee reimbursement.

First salvo

Two City Ministers – Danam Nagender and M. Mukesh Goud – fired the first salvo demanding the State government to review the decision. “We will take up the issue with the Chief Minister and question the recommendations of the Cabinet sub-committee,” the Ministers told reporters at Gandhi Bhavan on Tuesday.

Deriding what they termed the ‘unilateral’ decision of the Chief Minister, N.Kiran Kumar Reddy, and the Cabinet sub-committee, they wondered what sort of message the government was sending to people belonging to the weaker sections.

“When the opposition TDP is coming out with a declaration promising due recognition to BCs, what answer the Congress has for the decision to force BC students to pay the extra fee,” Mr. Nagender asked.

Irreparable damage

Mr. Mukesh Goud said it was unfortunate that the fee reimbursement scheme, which was introduced by then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, was being diluted. “The decision will cause irreparable damage to the Congress and we will not be able to woo the weaker sections if such things happen,” he added. They wanted nothing short of withdrawal of the decision.

Former Minister P. Shankar Rao said the decision to make the BC and EBC students pay extra fee was against the spirit of right to education. “I blame the Chief Minister for such an anti-people decision.

When the AICC president, Sonia Gandhi, and other leaders want to woo the weaker sections, our Chief Minister is taking decisions, which will alienate these groups,” he added.