YSRCP ‘rebel’ Lok Sabha member Raghurama Krishnam Raju against whom the party high-command had moved a disqualification petition once again stirred the Hornet’s nest.
On Tuesday, Raju dashed off a letter to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy to rescue the construction workers who lost their livelihood due to the corona imposed lockdown. In the letter, Raju stated that there are approximately 20 lakh 60,000 construction workers in the state who have Aadhaar cards. However, the state government had failed to link all the construction workers to their Aadhaar. “Only 10 lakh 60,000 construction workers have been linked to their Aadhaar. The government should immediately link the rest of the construction workers to Aadhar,” he said.
Further, Raju pointed out that the Andhra Pradesh government received Rs 1,364 crore towards Building and Construction Workers Welfare fund between 2014 and 2019. However, the state government had spent only Rs 330 crore for the welfare of the construction workers. “The government should give Rs 5,000 to each construction worker from the remaining Rs 1,000 crore,” Raju advised the Jagan government.
The Building and Construction Workers Welfare fund is raised by state governments by levying a cess of 1% of construction cost and is part of the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act, 1996, which regulates the employment and working condition of construction workers and provides for their safety and welfare measures.
Raju has not been seeing eye-to-eye with the policy decisions of the Jagan government. He was highly critical of the Andhra Pradesh government’s move to implement English medium in government schools and also raised the issue in Parliament seeking protection of Telugu language and Centre’s intervention in ensuring teaching in mother tongue in primary classes. Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy took a serious view as this flew in the face of his government’s decision to introduce English medium in government schools for classes I to VI. Raju had also opposed the proposed sale of certain Tirumala assets, raised the issue of illegal sand mining and rampant Christian conversions in the state.