Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy courted controversy after his government decided to rename an award scheme named after former President APJ Abdul Kalam and replace it with his father's name. YS Jaganmohan Reddy is son of late Congress leader and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajsekhar Reddy. However, he walked back on the decision soon as it generated lot of negative reactions.
The state education department on Monday said the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Vidya Puraskar will now be known as YSR Vidya Puraskars. However, Reddy ordered to cancel the concerned Government Order on Tuesday and ordered to reinstate the name of 'Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar Awards'.
The award is given to Class 10 students for outstanding academic performance in their board examinations. The award consists of a merit certificate, a memento and scholarships to meet the cost of higher education. The government order said the awards will be given on November 11, birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad celebrated as National Education Day.
Earlier, responding to the move, the Opposition has slammed the Jagan Reddy government saying it shows its "arrogance".
N Chandrababu Naidu, who first announced these awards when he was chief minister, said, "Dr Kalam accomplished much for the nation with his inspiring life. Jagan Reddy's government changing APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar to YSR Vidya Puraskar is a shocking method of self-aggrandisement at the cost of disrespecting a much venerated man."
BJP too attacked the state government and said its decision reeks of arrogance and disrespect for Kalam. BJP's national I-T cell head Amit Malviya in a tweet said, "It is not surprising that Jagan Reddy thinks his late father was a more accomplished scientist and academic than Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. After all he comes from a party, which named every award, scheme, stadium, road, airport etc, after members of the Nehru-Gandhi family."