The Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh coming under fire over renaming a state award named after former President APJ Abdul Kalam to “YSR Vidya Puraskar” on Tuesday scrapped the order.
The government order was issued on Monday changing the ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar Awards’ to ‘YSR Vidya Puraskar’, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government came under attack from various quarters including former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
The awards are given to meritorious students on National Education Day on November 11, the birth anniversary of India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
According to officials, Jagan Mohan Reddy ordered scrapping of the order after it came to his notice. “He warned the officials and firmly said that the awards should continue in the name of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam,” they said.
The Chief Minister also ordered officials to present awards in the names of Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar, Jyotirao Phule and Babu Jagjivan Ram.
The education department had on Monday issued an order renaming the awards after late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy popularly known as YSR, was father of Jagan Mohan Reddy. Ever since YSRCP came to power in May, many welfare schemes were renamed after YSR.
However, for the latest order the YSRCP government came under criticism from opposition parties, netizens and Abdul Kalam’s admirers.
Leader of opposition and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu took to Twitter and tweeted the controversial order with the hashtag #YSRCPInsultsAbdulKalam.
“Dr. Kalam has accomplished much for the nation with his inspiring life. @ysjagan’s govt changing “APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar” to “YSR Vidya Puraskar” is a shocking method of self-aggrandizement at the cost of disrespecting a much venerated man”, he said.
Dr. Kalam has accomplished much for the nation with his inspiring life. @ysjagan’s govt changing “APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar” to “YSR Vidya Puraskar” is a shocking method of self-aggrandizement at the cost of disrespecting a much venerated man. #YSRCPInsultsAbdulKalam pic.twitter.com/7lPaZddNZF
— N Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) November 5, 2019
This was followed by tweets by many other Kalam fans and Opposition criticising the government for the order.
The TDP lost power to Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party in May after a landslide victory in Andhra Pradesh elections.
Earlier too, on October 12, the YSRCP government faced criticism of disrespecting the national flag as all panchayat buildings were painted in YSRCP party colour along with a photo of Jaganmohan Reddy on the panchayat nameplate.