Jagan withdraws order to rename Kalam award to YSR

Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. (PTI photo)

While the colouring spree of the YSR Congress government last week saw the painting of the national flag on a Panchayat office replaced by the party flag, this week saw APJ Abdul Kalam Meritorious Awards being renamed as YSR Meritorious Awards, in the name of Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s father YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
 
After the controversial GO came to light, the government came under criticism from the Opposition, netizens and admirers of former President late APJ Abdul Kalam. Following protests the Chief Minister directed the officials to withdraw the order. He reportedly admonished the officials concerned for issuing such orders without his knowledge.
 
The order was issued by Education Department Secretary B Vijaya Kumar on Monday. The CM ordered for its reversal on Tuesday morning. He also instructed the officials to name the merit awards after country's great men like Mahatma Gandhi, Ambedkar, Jagjivan Ram, Jyotirao Phule, etc.
Former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who was instrumental in naming the awards after the former President, and several TDP and other party leaders lashed out at the government for erasing the great leader's name. The APJ Abdul Kalam Meritorious Awards are meant to be conferred on merit students of class X. The awards were given to both government and private school students till last year. This year, the awards will be given to government school students only.
 
Chandrababu Naidu tweeted, "Dr. Kalam has accomplished much for the nation with his inspiring life. @ysjagan’s govt changing “APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar” to “YSR Vidya Puraskar” is a shocking method of self-aggrandizement at the cost of disrespecting a much venerated man. #YSRCPInsultsAbdulKalam".

Naidu's son and MLC Lokesh said in a tweet Naidu introduced Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar to inspire students, which has now been changed to "YSR Vidya Puraskar." "How has power gotten so much into the head of Jaganmohan to disrespect a great visionary like Dr. Kalam?? Cancel the GO, save face! #YSRCPInsultsAbdulKalam," he tweeted.

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