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Naidu puts Anna stamp on govt schemes

nation Updated: May 26, 2016 08:53 IST

HYDERABAD: It may be ‘Amma’ all the way in Tamil Nadu, but ‘Anna’ (elder brother) is fast catching on in Andhra Pradesh.

The government has named several welfare schemes allegedly after CM N Chandrababu Naidu, drawing criticism from the Opposition.

While welfare schemes in Tamil Nadu are titled ‘Amma’ — as CM J Jayalalithaa is known, Andhra has named government schemes with the ‘Chandranna’ prefix, apparently referring to Chandrababu Naidu.

The Tamil Nadu government website, of course, denies the link with its leader and claims that ‘Amma’ stands for Assured Maximum Service to Marginal People in All Villages. The AP government, however, hasn’t yet refuted the inspiration behind the prefixChandranna—whichseems to be derived from Chandrababu’s name and the Telugu word for brother, Anna.

Already a dozen schemes now carry Naidu’s name. Though this nomenclature didn’t receive public resistance earlier, the government’s latest decision to christen community halls for the Kapu community as ‘Chandranna Kapu Samkshema Bhavans’ and a corpus fund to provide scholarships to Kapu students as ‘Chandranna Kapu Nidhi’ possibly took it too far and triggered a row. These schemes — aimed at wooing the Kapus, a powerful community in coastal Andhra districts who are up in arms against the Naidu government for dodging their demand for reservation and inclusion in the OBCs — appear to have backfired.

Former minister Mudragada Padmanabham, who is spearheading the agitation for the Kapus, took strong exception to the government’s move. In a letter to Naidu, Mudragada said the decision was nothing short of humiliating for the community.

You are not spending money from your pocket for the Kapu schemes. It is public money and you cannot take credit for providing assistance to the community,” he wrote.

Kapu leaders in the ruling Telugu Desam Party, however, were quick to come to their leader’s defence. “The Kapu schemes were named after the CM only at the request of the beneficiaries of the schemes. Mudragada has no right to question it,” said deputy chief minister Nimmakayala Chinna Rajappa.