AP CM hints at providing reservation to upper caste poor

Tirupati: Andhra Pradesh government may soon extend reservation for the poor among upper castes, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu indicated here today.

“We will conduct a survey. Based on that we will have no objection to extend reservation benefits to the economically- backward among the upper castes,” Naidu said while delivering the inaugural address at the Telugu Desam Party’s three-day annual conclave ‘Mahanadu’ here.

Terming the backward classes as the “backbone” of the TDP since its inception, the Chief Minister said a special sub-plan has been drafted for BC welfare with a budgetary allocation of Rs 8,600 crore this year.

“Similarly, we are providing benefits worth Rs 1,000 crore to the Kapu community. We have constituted a commission to get Kapus included in the backward classes list and extend reservation benefit.

“For Brahmins, too, we are providing financial assistance for education and self-employment. There are poor among other upper classes as well. We will conduct a survey to determine their economic status. We have no objection in providing reservation for them as well,” Naidu said.

During his 90-minute speech, he mentioned about the travails of the state, “caused by the irrational bifurcation”, but did not speak about the special category status that has become a politically contentious issue.

“We have no money. We have a lot of problems, but still we are doing everything for the uplift of the poor,” he said.

The Chief Minister also said it was the responsibility of the Centre to fulfil all commitments made in the AP Reorganisation Act-2014.

“We aligned with BJP only to overcome the troubles caused by the bifurcation (of the state). We still have to get complete support from the Centre. I have taken up these issues with the government bigwigs in New Delhi 18-19 times so far,” Naidu pointed out.

The TDP supremo inaugurated a blood donation camp and a photo exhibition marking the inauguration of Mahanadu. He paid floral tributes to the TDP’s founder-president N T Rama Rao on the occasion.

Union and state ministers, MPs, MLCs, MLAs and a host of other leaders were present at the event.