Ministers Danam Nagender and Mukesh Goud, who have lately become partners in dissent, on Tuesday distanced themselves from the government's proposal to cap the reimbursement of tuition fee of engineering students at Rs 31,0000 per annum. Their ruse? It goes against the interests of backward class students.
As for student parties, they have hit the warpath all over the state against the fee reimbursement cap. In the forefront, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) laid siege to collectors' offices in the state. In Hyderabad, they also picketed ministers' quarters before the police moved in and arrested the activists even as they prepared to storm the residences. As they were led away, student leaders said this was just the beginning. They plan to protest until the government rescinds its decision.
The cap on fee reimbursement applies selectively to backward class and economically backward class students, sparing those belonging to SC and ST social groups. Playing the BC card, M/s Goud and Nagender said this was not acceptable.
"I was the backward class welfare minister when the fee reimbursement scheme was introduced by the YSR regime. It's of crucial important to BC welfare. It's now being phased out," said Goud.
Nagender added, "This move will drive BC youth from the Congress." The duo said ministers belonging to backward classes will get together and try to persuade chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to revoke the decision. Apart from friendly fire for Nagender and Goud, the government drew heavy flak from the opposition as well.