‘FAST’ – ‘T’ Government turns the tables on A.P.

By: J R Janumpalli

The Government of A.P. was on jitters taking the refusal of Telangana government to reimburse the fees of Andhra students in Telangana state. The CM and his cabinet colleagues were very upset on this matter and were delivering sermons and issuing insinuations to Telangana government. At the same time creating all sorts of problems to Telangana government with the help of Centre, on each and every thing that is material between the two states. It has reference to “Students fee reimbursement: AP Social Welfare minister terms fees row as ‘state terrorism”.

Sri Ravela Kishore Babu, the honorable minister for social welfare, A.P. government appears to have lost his balance in assimilating the stand taken by Telangana government on the subject. Speaking to media persons, he was using the word ‘state terrorism’ very laxly against T-government despite being a responsible minister. He should know that it can attract the provisions of the privileges of T-government. He has said that his government approached the center on the issue and was threatening to use all other options on it, as if it is a very serious violation.

Education is a state subject. Fees reimbursement is in the domain of state government. Centre cannot give any direction on that to a State —- at least on the present dispute. The 10 year provision in the admissions to educational institutions in APRA does not relate to fee reimbursement. The fee reimbursement scheme is outside 371-D. It is a state scheme and the state government is free to continue, modify and close it or totally revamp it, if it chooses. Anyways, the present ill-conceived fee reimbursement scheme is in doldrums, because of the mismanagement of it by the erstwhile A.P.government. The T-government thinks that it needs to be modified and to be taken out of the mess. So that the government can extend the financial assistance to only Telangana students in the state and outside the state also without any hassles. FAST is the answer to the quandary. The cut-off date for nativity as 1956 specific to the scheme is also very much tenable.

The Minister Kishore Babu says that his government is ready to negotiate on the dispute. There is nothing for A.P. government to negotiate with T-government in this matter. Like T-government, Andhra can device its own policy on the scheme. It is up to it to reimburse Andhra students studying in Telangana state or not. But, it cannot force T-government to reimburse the fee for Andhra students also studying in T-state. Whether there is surplus or deficit budget and if it is Rs.150 cr or 50 cr is not the criterion, as he was droning. Neither Centre nor Andhra government have any ‘locus standi’ on demanding T- government to pay that amount. There is no point for the CM and HRD minister being ready to talk on this, when it is pointless to talk on that. After all it involves a large amount of money. Telangana government cannot afford to be charitable.

When T-government wants to have a scheme to pay the fee to its students where ever they are studying, why Andhra government cannot do likewise? They can also have a scheme of their own or give it up if they cannot do, it is up to them. But, how is it justified to castigate T-government on that count and trying to force it to pay the fee of Andhra students. His statement ‘it would send a wrong signal. It will be accepting their decision, which is against the Constitution’ sounds very juvenile for a responsible minister in Andhra government. His bullying of taking it to courts and calling KCR’s decision to deny fee reimbursement to Andhra students as “state terrorism”, explains in clear terms who is indulging in what? This is the legacy of their hegemony in the erstwhile A.P. government. The minister should know that the situation is changed. Telangana is no more their fiefdom.

If Andhra government, the CM and his ministers were so keen and ready to talk with Telangana government on Power PPAs and water sharing in NSP, employees division and on Polavaram imbroglio it would have been good and would have sent right signals for the amicable settlement of many recalcitrant issues between the two states. But, their crafty attempt to reconciliation in fee reimbursement only and the veiled threats to take to courts and take the help of center are not going to cut any ice with T-government now. They know how to transact with them after living with them in the last 58 years. That is why KCR’s government scrapped the messy and the contentious erstwhile A.P.government’s fee reimbursement scheme with FAST (Financial Assistance to Students from Telangana) and turned the tables against A.P. government.

It is a bold and imaginative decision. Telangana needs many more such decisions to counter the scheming of A.P. government with the help of the Center. The Scheme is a fitting lesson to the truculence and arrogance of CBN and his cantankerous colleagues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *