Kapu quota leader Mudragada Padmanabham ends hunger strike

The breakthrough came after TDP leader held talks with Padmanabham and assured' him action.

Hyderabad: Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham on Monday ended his indefinite fast, he had begun on Friday to demand quota for the community, after "assurances" from the Andhra Pradesh government, including allocation of Rs 1000 crore annually to Kapu welfare corporation.

The breakthrough came after K Atchannaidu, Minister for Labour, TDP state unit president K Kala Venkat Rao and party MLAs - Thota Trimurthulu and NVS Varma - held talks with Padmanabham at his native village Kirlampudi in East Godavari.

Kala Venkat Rao and Atchannaidu offered lime juice to Padmanabham, who has been fasting along with his wife, some

family members and supporters. Padmanabham said the government has assured him it would obtain the report of a commission on backward classes (for inclusion of Kapus in BCs), within seven months instead of nine, if possible, and allocate Rs 1000 crore annually to Kapu (welfare) corporation from next year.

The government set up the commission to study the issue of reservations for the community and it is expected to submit its report within nine months.

The government representatives asked Padmanabham to join the discussions leading up to the decision on reservation.

The government would separately provide Rs 500 crore this year and accept all the applications made this year to Kapu

Corporation by the community members for benefits, he said.

Padmanabham said he is in favour of provision of "creamy layer" among the Kapus.

Atchannaidu said Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is "very positive" on the demands of the community.

The government would be judicious in dealing with the police cases registered in connection with the violence that erupted during a rally organised by Padmanabham on January 31, the minister added.

Atchannaidu said no injustice would be done to the Backward Classes in the process of providing reservation to Kapus.

Padmanabham appealed to Naidu to bring a resolution in the Legislative Assembly, after receipt of the panel's report,

and forward it to Centre for incorporating Kapus in the seventh schedule of Constitution.

Popular Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan, who had vigorously campaigned for TDP-BJP alliance in the 2014 state and Lok Sabha elections, yesterday requested the state government to engage in direct talks with Kapu leaders spearheading the reservation issue, which, he noted was an election-promise made by the TDP.

"A group of balanced intellectuals should be entrusted with the responsibility of finding a mutually-acceptable solution before it jaggernauts into an uncontainable situation (sic)," tweeted Kalyan, who belongs to the community.

Meanwhile, the Congress claimed in a release that its state unit president N Raghuveera Reddy and party MP Chiranjeevi were "arrested" at Rajahmundry while proceeding to Kirlampudi to express solidarity with Padmanabham today.

( Source : PTI )
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