Staff Reporter

Jobless youths ask Chief Minister to keep his poll promises on recruitmentsSome women surge towards dais to attract Dr. Reddy's attentionYSR ticks off TV cameramen for focussing on protesters

GANAPAVARAM (WEST GODAVARI DIST): The "Prajapatham" programme held here in West Godavari district on Saturday turned out to be a rough ride for Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. His hour-long address filled with election-eve promises like provision of houses and individual toilets to the rural poor in all `Indiramma' villages in the next three years was frequently interrupted by restive women and jobless youths. Dr. Reddy's repeated requests to them to maintain calm and allow him to complete his address went unheeded.

Slogan-shouting

Immediately after the Chief Minister began his address, he faced the slogan-shouting youths under the banner of the CPI(M)- affiliated Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). The protesters demanded that Dr. Reddy keep his election promise by filling all vacancies in government departments and criticised changing the guidelines for recruitment of constable posts which make pass in Intermediate a must. They wanted the Government to restore the earlier norms which used to allow candidates with SSC qualification to seek recruitment. Dr. Reddy went ahead with his speech by giving them a patient hearing.

Later, he faced hostility from women who grew restive. Women in groups surged toward the dais and made gesticulations in a bid to attract his attention. At one stage, Chief Minister ticked off a section of `over-enthusiastic' TV cameramen when they turned their cameras to the restive crowd.

Some women made futile attempts to get Dr. Reddy to listen to their problems relating to erratic distribution of kerosene in fair price shops, alleged bias against the poorer sections in supply of drinking water and irregularities in disbursement of ex gratia to the widows under the National Family Benefit Scheme. Congress MLA from Tadepalligudem Kottu Satyanarayana was seen directing his ire at the official machinery for their `poor arrangements' for the Chief Minister's programme.