HYDERABAD: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's proposed visit to Andhra Pradesh has been postponed. No new date has been announced.
As per the announced schedule, the Prime Minister was to visit Hyderabad on Feb. 4 to lay the foundation stone for the Metro rail project and hand over appointment letters to some of young men and women who have got themselves jobs under the state government's signature programme, Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu (RYK).
The government had billed the visit of the PM, his first to Hyderabad since chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy took over, as a high-profile event. The chief minister personally invited the PM to Hyderabad during his visit to the national capital on January 17.
For the better part of last year, the chief minister had been constrained by the Telangana agitation from inviting the Prime Minister or Sonia Gandhi to any event in the region or even in Hyderabad lest separate state activists embarrass them with their protests.
But with the Telangana movement showing signs of flagging in recent weeks, Kiran Kumar felt emboldened to invite the PM here to raise the profile of his signature job generation programme, RYK. But on Saturday afternoon, the chief minister's office received communication from Delhi that the PM would not be able to make it here on February 4.
Officials here believe that the postponement is due to the visit of the Mauritius Prime Minister to Delhi. While the chief minister may have sensed that all is quiet on the Telangana front, a letter written by an MP from the region belied that expectation.
The letter urged the Prime Minister to postpone his visit because the limited progress made by the RYK scheme was not suitable for his stature.
The PM was expected to hand out appointment letters to some of the youth who have found jobs under the aegis of RYK. But the MP's letter argues that there is little in the scheme for the state government to crow about. The jobs have not been in the government, being mostly lower-level postings in private sector units. The MP said that RYK is essentially a training programme being wrongly promoted as a job creation scheme. The MP also questioned the financial implications of RYK.
Responding to the letters, the Prime Minister's Office is said to have asked for more details on RYK from government departments.