The re-branding exercise in Andhra Pradesh that has seen a majority of the schemes either named or renamed after YS Rajasekhara Reddy, has now seen the entry of another name.
Chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
In the budget that was presented on Friday, two education schemes were named after Jagan. Amma Vodi (Mother’s lap) scheme which provides annual financial assistance of Rs 15000 to every mother who sends her children to school and intermediate college, has been renamed as Jagananna Amma Vodi. The fee reimbursement scheme has been rechristened as Jagananna Vidya Deevena. The scheme extends support of Rs 20000 per annum to college students belonging to the SC, ST, BC, Minorities, Kapu, EBC and differently abled categories.
That Jagan wants his imprint on the education sector is obvious from the budgetary allocation of Rs 32618 crore, which is 14.31 per cent of the total budget. This is 34 per cent higher than the last financial year.
The budget document points out the reason. It say the illiteracy rate in Andhra Pradesh as per the 2011 census was 33 per cent against the national rate of 27 per cent. Among women, the illiteracy is 40 per cent, compared to the national average of 35 per cent.
TDP general secretary and Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh took potshots at the scheme, tweeting that while Jagan can feel happy over prefixing his name, he should answer why half the mothers have been left out of the scheme.
The political branding of schemes in Andhra Pradesh is nothing new. Under Naidu, every other scheme was named after either NTR or Chandrababu himself. In fact, the latter gained more currency in the second half of his term with schemes like Chandranna Bima Yojana, Chandranna Sankranti Kanuka, Chandranna Kapu Bhavan, Chandranna Ramzan taufa, Chandranna Christmas kanuka and more. The idea was to brand and present Naidu as the elder brother for every household who will take care of the family members financially.