AP Govt keen to provide reservation for Kapus
In a decision loaded with political significance, the state Cabinet, which met here on Monday, cleared a proposal to include Kapus among the BCs but for that to happen, it will constitute a BC commission soon and entrust the work to it. The Cabinet meeting, which was chaired by chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, also decided to subsidise one-third of the price of red gram at which it is being sold in the market now (`145 per kg).
As regards the BC reservation for Kapus, BC welfare minister Kollu Ravindra, afer the Cabinet meeting, said: “The Cabinet took the decision to include Kapus in the list of BCs but it would be done in such a way that it would not alter or reduce the quota already being availed by other BCs. Though the decision means increase in the percentage of reservations beyond 50, the government is keen that Kapus find a place among the BCs and to facilitate this it would consult the Union government.”
Reservation for Kapus is a promise that successive governments have been making to win the hearts of the Kapus who are numerically strong in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh. Even in 1990s, the then chief minister K Vijayabhaskara Reddy, addressing a major public meeting in Eluru, promised. Since then a lot of water has flown in the Krishna but the promise remained on paper. Now, the Chandrababu Naidu government has brought it to the centre-stage to win over Kapus at a time when other parties YSRC and the BJP are trying to corner the prized vote-bank.
Though it is easier said that done, the state government has started the ball rolling and before the Kapus’ listing among BCs takes place, it has decided to constitute a Kapu Corporation with a seed capital of `100 crore to advance loans to the needy members of the community and refer the issue of including among the BCs to BC Commission. By the next meeting of the cabinet, the BC commission will be in place as by then decision would be taken as to who should head it,” Ravindra said.
Referring to measures being taken to bring down the price of red gram in the market, agriculture minister Prattipati Pulla Rao, who also briefed the Cabinet decisions to mediapersons, said that the price of red-gram being sold in the market at `145 per kg would get cheaper further. “The government would subsidise one-third of the price so that red gram becomes affordable,” the minister said.
The minister said that the government had spent `275 crore on subsidising the price of red gram in October. The Cabinet also decided to make the farmers to diversify to other pulses by hiking the support price by `1,000.