Jagan scraps order renaming Kalam Awards after furore

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Amid a furore over renaming a state award named after former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday scrapped the order.

A day after a government order (GO) was issued changing the “Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Pratibha Puraskar Awards’ to “YSR Vidya Puraskars”, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government came under attack from various quarters.

According to officials, Jagan Mohan Reddy ordered scrapping of the order after it came to his notice. “He warned the officials and firmly said that the awards should continue in the name of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam,” they said.

The awards are to be given to meritorious students on National Education Day on November 11, the birth anniversary of India’s first Education Minister Moulana Abul Kalam Azad.

The Chief Minister also ordered officials to present awards in the names of Mahatma Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, Jyotirao Phule and Babu Jagjivan Ram.

The education department had on Monday issued an order renaming the awards after late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

Popular as YSR, Rajasekhara Reddy was father of Jagan Mohan Reddy. Ever since YSRCP came to power in May, many welfare schemes were renamed. Most of the schemes are now named after YSR.

However, for the latest order the YSRCP government came under criticism from opposition parties, netizens and Abdul Kalam’s admirers.

Leader of opposition and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu tweeted the controversial order with the hashtag #YSRCPInsultsAbdulKalam.

“Dr. Kalam has accomplished much for the nation with his pioneering work and inspiring life. Jagan’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. Shameful!!” tweeted Naidu.

This was followed by tweets by many others, criticising the government for the order.

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