Jagan Mohan Reddy’ YSR Congress Party, renamed a popular awards scheme named after former president APJ Abdul Kalam evoked considerable political outrage and Jagan Mohan Reddy has backtracked. On Monday, YSRCP government issued a government order renaming the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar awards as the YSR Vidya Puraskars in honor of YS Rajasekhara Reddy, former Andhra Pradesh chief minister. Jagan Mohan Reddy is the son of YS Rajasekhar Reddy.
Within hours of issuing the government order, Jagan Mohan Reddy issued an oral order to immediately cancel it on Tuesday. Jagan Mohan Reddy ordered the immediate cancellation of the government order and further ordered the reinstatement of the award as the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar awards after facing the criticism from the opposition.
The order issued on Monday had said that the award would be renamed ‘YSR Vidya Puraskar’. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar is presented to meritorious Class 10 students on 11th November, celebrated as National Education Day on the eve of Moulana Abul Kalam Azad’ birth anniversary. The best performing students are awarded merit certificates, a memento and scholarships.
AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy warned the officials and said that the awards should continue in the name of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.”
In 2017, TDP President, Nara Chandrababu Naidu government had decided to name Andhra Pradesh Pratibha awards, which are given to students who excelled in 10 class exams—after ‘missile man of India’ Abdul Kalam. The awards were scheduled to be given on 11th November.
Jagan Mohan Reddy’ decision to rename the award was condemned by the oppositions, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state. Andhra BJP spokesperson Dinakar Lanka termed the move an insult to Abdul Kalam and said, “This shows the arrogance in the decisions of the Andhra Pradesh government.”