A.P. Government issues G.O. 16 for initiating legal action against JSP chief Pawan Kalyan for his remarks on village / ward volunteers

I am prepared to go to jail and be beaten up, and I know the risk in casting doubts on the very purpose of the system of volunteers, asserts Pawan Kalyan

July 20, 2023 08:37 pm | Updated July 21, 2023 03:29 am IST - GUNTUR

Jana Sena Party president K. Pawan Kalyan.

Jana Sena Party president K. Pawan Kalyan. | Photo Credit: G.N. Rao

The Andhra Pradesh government on July 20 (Thursday) issued G.O. Rt. No. 16 for initiating legal action against Jana Sena Party (JSP) president Pawan Kalyan for “making objectionable comments on the ward and village volunteers” at a public meeting in Eluru on July 9.

The G.O. alleged that Mr. Pawan Kalyan had used defamatory, derogatory and venomous statements against the government and the volunteer system during his Varahi Yatra.

Special Chief Secretary (Department of Ward and Village Volunteers) Ajay Jain stated that it was as part of the decentralisation of administration up to the village level that the government framed the innovative policy to have its services delivered at the people’s doorstep by the volunteers, devoid of any scope for interference by middlemen. The system won critical acclaim and it was being replicated in other States, he said.

But, Mr. Pawan Kalyan suppressed the facts and objectives of the volunteer system, and made defamatory statements, which caused substantial damage to the reputation of volunteers as well as the State government.

To suggest that 29,000 women disappeared because of the volunteers and accusing them of being a part of data theft was highly objectionable, the G.O. said.

Reacting to the order to prosecute him, Mr. Pawan Kalyan said, “I am prepared to go to jail and be beaten up. I know the risk in casting doubts on the very purpose of the system of volunteers.”

“Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy should be wary of the fact that people and courts are watching how murderers are being protected under his watch.”Pawan KalyanJana Sena Party president

“I know that the government will haul me up for making the remarks on the volunteers. Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy should, at the same time, be wary of the fact that people and courts are watching how murderers are being protected under his watch,” Mr. Pawan Kalyan observed at a party meeting on the occasion of former MLA Panchakarla Ramesh Babu joining the JSP.

‘Volunteers being exploited’

“Volunteers cannot be called volunteers in the first place as they are being given a remuneration of ₹160-plus per day for their work, compared to the Red Cross volunteers who serve the needy without taking a pie,” the JSP chief said.

He said the work of 2.50 lakh volunteers deployed by the YSRCP government amounted to “data theft.”

“Basically, the volunteers are being exploited, as even an MGNREGS worker draws more for a day’s toil,” Mr. Pawan Kalyan said.

The volunteers were gathering personal details of the people, and the data was being sent to private companies for storage, which was against norms, he said.

“When I say something, I know the risks involved. You can come and question me anywhere. I will not be cowed by the threat of cases. Why will I set up a party if I am scared of such things,” he said.

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