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How Navratnalu Scheme Of Jagan Reddy Govt Has Created A Flutter In Andhra Pradesh

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In Andhra Pradesh, where the BJP is likely to contest the polls alone, the ruling YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is trying to Scheduled Caste a key poll issue in this year’s assembly and the Lok Sabha polls once again. The YSR Congress Party had stormed to power in 2019 riding on the support of SCs who constitute around 19% of the state’s population. 

The Andhra Government under Jagan has launched the Navaratnalu scheme aimed at the social welfare of the poor and SCs. The Navaratnalu consists of nine schemes- Raithu Bharosa under which farmers are paid Rs 13,500 every year and Rs 7 lakh insurance, Rs 20,000 per student per annum to be provided to poor for their kid’s education, Arogyasri which covers all medical expenses over Rs 1000 for families having income less than Rs 5 lakh, Jalayagnam project for safe drinking water, Ban on Alcohol, Amma Vodi under which financial assistance of Rs 15,000 given to mothers for children education, YSR Asara -YSR Cheyuta for loan to Women Cooperative Societies, Housing for all homeless poor families and pension enhancement to Rs 3000 per month.

Dalit Votes Via Ambedkar?

Now, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy has unveiled a 125-foot statue of Dr B R Ambedkar at the Swaraj Maidan in Vijayawada to woo the Scheduled Caste (SC) voters. The YSRCP government, asserting that its Ambedkar statue is the tallest in the country, has undertaken various initiatives targeting Dalit voters. In addition to this, the state recently initiated its own caste survey, a move that comes amidst opposition demands for a nationwide caste census. The YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh has included a significant portion of the Dalit population, particularly the Madigas and Malas, in various welfare schemes. Now with the Ambedkar statue and his Navaratnalu scheme, Jagan is sending a message to Dalits/SCs that his government is committed for their welfare.

While the previous BRS government in Telangana had also unveiled an Ambedkar statue ahead of the state polls, it failed to retain power as Congress won the assembly polls.

Congress-TDP Challenge

Jagan is not ready to take any chance given that the Congress has appointed his sister Y S Sharmila as the party’s Andhra president while the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena have joined hands to defeat the YSCRP. While the TDP has accused the Jagan government of brutality against Dalits, the YSCRP has termed the TDP an anti-dalit party. 

Centre’s Panel Move For Dalits

The BJP is also well aware of the potential of the Dalit vote bank in the state. While the party has a minuscule presence in the state, it’s looking to increase its vote share. While PM Narendra Modi has visited temples linked to Lord Ram in the state, his government at the Centre has formed a high-level panel to examine the steps that can be taken to safeguard the interests of scheduled caste communities like the Madigas and other such groups. According to reports, the panel will work to ensure fair allocation of benefits to the Madigas – the most disadvantaged community within the Scheduled Castes. It has been alleged that Madigas have been overshadowed by comparatively affluent and influential groups within the SC communities.

According to reports, the central government has received requests from several state governments, such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka, advocating for the sub-categorization of Scheduled Castes (SCs), which encompasses the Madiga community. The argument is that the benefits of reservation and welfare/developmental programs are not uniformly reaching all sections within the SCs.



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