Nation Politics 21 Sep 2022 Jagan removes NTR� ...

Jagan removes NTR's name from health university, names it after YSR

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | MD ILYAS
Published Sep 22, 2022, 12:20 am IST
Updated Sep 22, 2022, 10:49 am IST
TD legislators climb the Speaker's podium on the last day of Assembly session at Velagapudi. (Photo by arrangement)
 TD legislators climb the Speaker's podium on the last day of Assembly session at Velagapudi. (Photo by arrangement)

VIJAYAWADA: The re-naming of NTR University of Health Sciences by the YSRC government after the chief minister’s father and former CM the late Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy has kicked up a row and the issue raised heat in the AP Assembly on Wednesday.

The Assembly passed the renaming bill after the suspension of Opposition Telugu Desam legislators. The university will now be called Dr YSR University of Health Sciences. This was done by deleting the name of former CM NT Rama Rao.

The Opposition MLAs rushed into the well, climbed onto the speaker’s podium, tore papers and threw those onto Speaker Tammineni Sitaram. This led, yet again, to the suspension of the TD MLAs from the house for the day. They refused to leave but Marshalls forced them out.

It was in 1986 that NTR formed a separate health university to promote medical education in united Andhra Pradesh. After the death of NTR, then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu named the university after the matinee idol-turned politician-CM.

The present decision was taken overnight by the Jagan government. It got the draft bill cleared within hours and was ratified by the state cabinet which met online on Tuesday night in a show of rare urgency. The bill was introduced in the assembly on Wednesday.

Health minister Vidadala Rajni introduced the bill to amend the Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences Act, 1986, in the assembly amidst strong protests from the Opposition legislators. Rajni said Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy, ex-CM (2004-2009), he himself a doctor, had made immense contributions to the health sector. He had started the first-of-its-kind Aarogyasri programme in 2007 to help the poor get the secondary and tertiary treatment at corporate hospitals free of cost, she noted.

She said many state governments started similar programmes and the central government also started the Ayushman Bharat-PM Jana Arogya Yojana on similar lines in 2018, taking the inspiration from the Aarogyasri scheme.

Rajni said the 108 emergency response system and the 104 service started by YSR greatly helped in providing the services to the needy within the crucial golden hour and saved millions of lives. “YSR established three new medical colleges in addition to existing seven which were established in a space of more than five decades.”

She recalled that Chandrababu Naidu has no respect towards NTR and Naidu had himself decided to remove NTR’s name during the TD government’s time vis-à-vis the NTR Arogya Seva scheme. The present government is giving the YSR name to the university considering all of YSR’s innovative services, she added.

Tourism minister R.K. Roja recalled that Naidu threw slippers on NTR, he had also humiliated the veteran by refusing mike to him in the assembly and later snatched power and the Telugu Desam party from NTR through backstabbing.

“Naidu never tried to give respect to NTR during his government and supported the YSR name for the university,” she added.

Housing minister Jogi Ramesh said TD leaders had no moral right to talk about NTR as they had humiliated him a lot. “If at all there is anybody who has affection and respect towards NTR, it is Jagan. That is why, he has named Vijayawada district after NTR. Since the university is about health sciences and YSR did a lot for this sector, his name for the university is appropriate.”

Chief minister Jagan Reddy said in his concluding remarks that this was a well thought-out move to give due credit to Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy. “By no means do I have any disrespect towards NTR.” The Assembly later passed the bill changing the name to Dr YSR University of Health Sciences.

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