Special Correspondent

VIJAYAWADA: Former Deputy Chief Minister Koneru Ranga Rao urged the State government to declare July 8, the birthday of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, as ‘Welfare Day’.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Mr. Ranga Rao said the welfare schemes developed and implemented by Dr. Reddy had earned for him national and international recognition.

He was today seen as a model chief minister in the country and even leaders of developed countries lauded the new welfare schemes created by him.

A person no less than US President Barack Obama reportedly lauded the Arogyasri scheme.

Celebrating his birthday as ‘Welfare Day’ would be a fitting way to honour him, Mr. Ranga Rao said.

Though Dr. Reddy came up with the maximum number of welfare schemes, including housing and pensions for all eligible persons, ‘paavala vaddi’ scheme, waiver of power bills and agricultural loans to farmers and free power to farm sector, the Opposition parties in the State formed a Grand Alliance with the single-point programme of defeating him, Mr. Ranga Rao recalled.

He requested the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee and leaders of all parties to take this concept to the people and celebrate Dr. Reddy’s birthday as ‘Welfare Day’.