Asserting that her fight with the government will continue till such time it institutionalises fee reimbursement scheme by allocating requisite funds in the state budget, YSR Congress honorary president YS Vijayamma said this was the only way to remove uncertainty over whether the programme would continue every year and if so, in what shape.
Vijayamma, who began her two-day deeksha at Eluru on Monday, demanding the government stop dithering on reimbursing tuition fee to the students of engineering colleges, said the progarmme introduced by the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy was intened to benefit not just students, but their entire family. “He used to tell me that for a civilisation to progress, one needs to be assured of education, health, shelter and food. He wanted students to have access to higher education,” she recalled the moments when Rajasekhara Reddy used to share his feelings with her.
Vijayamma evoked a good response from the crowd at her deeksha venue. As the government was yet to come out with counselling dates for admissions to engineering colleges and there’s no clarity on how the scheme was going to be implemented, Vijayamma said she had decided to go on a hunger strike in support of students’ demand for full reimbursement of fee regardless of whether the government would hike the fee or not.
More than students it was the Congress workers who turned up at the deeksha camp. The audience comprised a large chunk of women from rural areas. Vijayamma drew heavily from what the late YSR had done to draw a parallel to the present government which, according to her, had left the welfare of the people to winds. “Today’s leaders are impervious to the difficulties of the people. The late YSR knew the problems of the people. He used to tell me that though the people in our state are in difficulties, they would never seek help. We have to understand their problem and go and help them out,” she said.
She came to Eluru on the advise of her son Jagan because students were very worried over the fee reimbursement scheme. YSR Congress leaders P Subhash Chandra Bose, actor-turned-politician Roja and party legislators attended the programme.