Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N
Kiran Kumar Reddy on Tuesday said the state government was totally
committed to the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
Responding to an issue raised in the state Assembly, the
Chief Minister said the government was making efforts to spend
16.23 per cent of the total budget towards SC and ST welfare.
"We spent nine per cent of the budget in 2009-10 and 12
per cent in 2010-11 on SC and ST through the sub-plans. We are
making efforts to enhance it to 16.23 per cent," he said.
The SC and ST welfare issue was raised by CPI and CPM in
the House through an adjournment today, in the backdrop of an
indefinite hunger-strike launched by CPM politburo member B V
Raghavulu six days ago.
The Left MLAs stalled the proceedings demanding an
immediate statement from the Chief Minister on the issue.
Officiating Speaker Nadendla Manohar adjourned the proceedings
for 15 minutes and held a meeting with floor leaders of all
parties to discuss the issue.
At the meeting, the parties wanted the Chief Minister to
make an appeal to the fasting leader to end the fast and
accordingly the House re-assembled.
Making the appeal, Kiran said most of the demands raised
by the CPM politburo member were already being implemented
while some other were under consideration.
"We shall soon appoint a chairman to the SC and ST
Commission and also constitute the Women`s Commission. As much
as 25 lakh acres of land in the state will be developed at a
total cost of Rs 9,000 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National
Rural Employment Guarantee Programme in the next three years,"
The Chief Minister said the Congress "need not learn any
lessons" from anyone on SC and ST welfare.
"The Congress is always committed to their welfare. There
will be no compromise," he asserted.
Reacting to this, Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu
Naidu alleged that the funds meant for the welfare of SCs and
STs were being diverted.
"Of the total Rs 7,470 crore allotted for SC and ST
welfare, only Rs 3,600 crore was spent in the last seven
years. The SC Finance Corporation is not in a position even to
pay salaries to its staff," he pointed out.
He wanted the government to send a team of ministers to
the fasting CPM leader and make him end the fast.
CPM MLA J Ranga Reddy, CPI floor leader G Mallesh, Lok
Satta Party president N Jayaprakash Narayan, Praja Rajyam
legislator Vanga Geeta also spoke.
Social Welfare Minister Pitani Satyanarayana said a
high-level meeting would be convened on March 25 to discuss
the implementation of SC and ST sub-plans.
Later, the TDP members were on their feet demanding that
the government immediately constitute a Joint Legislature
Committee to probe the land allotments in the last seven
Major Industries Minister J Geeta Reddy started reading
out a statement on the issue but the TDP MLAs rushed to the
Speaker`s podium demanding nothing but a JLC.
Amidst the din, officiating Speaker Manohar adjourned the
House for the day.