Hyderabad, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy today demanded that the State Government provide full fee reimbursement to students of Backward Classes, irrespective of their ranks.
Addressing BC Vidhyarthi Garjana at Saroornagar Indoor Stadium on Saturday, Uttam Kumar Reddy slammed the TRS Government for imposing restrictions on the Fee Reimbursement scheme. He pointed that the historic scheme was launched in 2008 by the then Congress Government to provide Fee Reimbursement facility for all poor students belonging to SC, ST, BC, Minorities and also economically weaker sections of upper castes. He said that the revolutionary universal Fee Reimbursement scheme had enabled all poor students to pursue higher education without having any worries of paying college fee. However, he alleged that the present TRS Government has diluted the scheme which has badly hit the poor students, especially those belonging to the BC communities.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said of nearly 60 lakh students in Telangana, about 35 lakh students were BCs. Therefore, he said by imposing restrictions on Fee Reimbursement, TRS Government has deprived lakhs of poor BC students from pursuing higher education. Citing an instance, he said that the TRS Government had introduced separate slabs of Fee Reimbursement for students securing below and above 10,000 rank. He said this move had badly hurt the BC students pursuing engineering and other professional courses.
The TPCC chief demanded that the government should not impose any restrictions and provide full fee reimbursement without any conditions. He said that the Congress party would raise the issue in both Legislative Assembly and Council. He said that the TRS Government came to power on the promise of providing KG to PG free education. However, he said so far only 119 BC residential schools were opened with an intake of nearly 28,000 students. He asked where should the remaining 35 lakh BC students go for assistance if they wish to pursue higher education. He said that the previous Congress Government had promoted education and started hundreds of hostels and residential schools for BCs.
The TPCC chief also criticized the TRS Government for not clearing the Fee Reimbursement dues. He said that the State Government did not clear dues of Rs. 1600 crore for last year and about Rs. 2,000 crore for this year despite having a budget of Rs. 1.30 lakh crore in 2016-17 and Rs. 1.39 lakh crore in 2017-18. He said that the TRS Government paid over Rs. 20,000 crore to various contractors, but it did not consider spending Rs. 2,000 crore for BC students. He said only Congress party could ensure political empowerment of BCs in Telangana. He asked whether any BC leader could ever become TRS party President or Chief Minister anytime in future. But this can happen and had happened in the Congress party.
Calling TRS a family party, he said that the Congress party has a record of giving BCs the top positions like State party Presidents, Chief Minister, etc., Therefore, he said that social justice was possible only through Congress party. He also praised BC Welfare Association president and MLA R. Krishnaiah for his services for BC Welfare. He said Krishnaiah has been fighting relentless for the cause of BC empowerment and everyone must support him. He also announced that the Congress party would support the demand for 50% political reservation for BCs in Parliament and State Legislatures. He said that the BCs should also get reservations in promotions. He said that the BC quota in Panchayati Raj institutions should also be increased from present 34-50%. He said that the Congress party had supported the Bill enhancing quota for Muslims under BC-E from present 4% to 12%. Similarly, he demanded that the quota for BCs under A, B, C and D categories should also be increased in proportionate to their population.
The TPCC chief also supported the demand for creation of a separate ministry in the Central Government for the welfare of BCs. He announced that the Congress party would fully support the battle for justice for BCs in all spheres of lives. He also demanded that the TRS Government provide full Fee Reimbursement for all BC students until it implements KG to PG free education for all. BC Welfare Association president R Krishnaiah and other BC leaders also spoke.