As many as 21 legislators, a majority of them from the ruling Congress, staged a walkout from the assembly after displaying placards, demanding that the government release funds for fee reimbursement. Two members of the legislative council also expressed solidarity with Jagan, as the former Kadapa MP is popularly known.
This is the first time that legislators loyal to Jagan staged a walkout. Alleging that the government was diluting the welfare schemes launched by his late father, chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Jagan is demanding that the government release the arrears amounting to Rs.3,500 crore to save the future of 25 lakh students.
The scheme for the fee reimbursement of students belonging to weaker sections of society was launched by his father. The condition of Jagan, who has been on hunger strike at Indira Park here since Feb 18, has deteriorated but he refuses to seek medical aid. He is determined to continue his fast till Thursday.
In the morning, legislators marched to the assembly from Indira Park to highlight their demand. Embarrassing their own government, 16 assembly members from the Congress have been displaying placards in the house for four days to show their support for Jagan.
The young leader quit the Congress party in November last year, protesting what he called the conspiracy of the party leadership to divide his family.He plans to float a new party next month.