The Chief Minister reeled out figures as to how much amount the government had spent during the past few years and the quantum of land distributed to the SCs and STs. He pointed out that in order to ensure that the welfare schemes and funds meant for these sections would be properly utilized, the high-level meeting with the Chief Secretary and officials of the concerned department was being held on March 25. In view of these steps being initiated by the state government, he wanted the fasting CPM leader to call of his agitation.
The Leader of the Opposition Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu accused the state government of lacking any commitment for the welfare of the harijans and girijans, which was amply evident from the fact the SC and ST Finance Corporation was going bankrupt without any funds leading to non-payment of salaries to the employees. He said the SC and ST hostels were in a pathetic condition and the harijans and girijans are not being provided with the promised housing facilities. Though the SC Commission and SC Mahila Commission were formed during the TDP regime, so far the chairmen were not appointed, he lamented.
Mr, Chandrababu Naidu also charged that the SC and ST sub-plan funds were being diverted for the Pulivendula project and similarly the housing facility under the Indiramma Housing scheme were not reaching the beneficiaries belonging to the weaker sections. Exhorting the government to take special measures for the welfare of these sections, he appealed to the government to send a team of ministers to persuade the fasting CPM leader to call off his agitation. He also appealed on behalf of his party to the CPM leader to call of his indefinite hunger strike.
While the CPM member Mr. Julakanti Ranga Reddy wanted the government to concede the 50 demands put forth by the fasting leader, the CPI member Mr. G. Mallesh wanted the government to arm the nodal agency with enough powers to implement the welfare programmes. The Lok Satta member Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan stressed on the imperative need for initiating more welfare measures for these sections. (NSS).