AP becomes role model in social justice, communal harmony: YSR

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Hyderabad, Oct 12 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today said the state has become a role model in the country in maintaining communal harmony and providing equal opportunities to minorities, backward classes and other downtrodden sections of the people in education and employment.

Reviewing the performance of various departments relating to the welfare and development Programmes in general and home affairs in particular, Dr Reddy said in a release here that protection of secular fabric of society and promotion of sustainable development, which would benefit the last person in the society, were on the top of the government's agenda.

He would submit a special report on exemplary achievement of peace and development in Andhra Pradesh to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the occasion of the National Integration Council meeting to be held at New Delhi tomorrow.

He recalled some of the major decision taken by his government in this direction, including grant of 100 per cent tuition fee reimbursement for BC/SC/ST and Muslim students from the current academic year to ensure that they have the opportunity to join the higher education and professional courses.

Dr Reddy claimed the government had shown its commitment to the welfare of minority communities by taking several path-breaking initiatives like providing four per cent reservation to Muslims in education and employment, implementing Justice Rajender Sachar Committee's recommendations as well as the 15-point programme announced by Prime Minister.

The Congress government in the state had taken up several steps to boost the morale and dignity of people of minority communities, he said.

Dr Reddy said free power to farmers, supply of seeds and fertilisers at subsidised prices and health insurance launched by the state government had benefitted lakhs of farmers.

Reiterating the government's commitment to put down terrorism and extremism to make Andhra Pradesh the best destination for investments, the Chief Minister said the major initiative of the government was to recruit 37,000 constables in a phased manner for the Octopus (Organisation to Counter Terrorist Operations), an elite force created to effectively combat terrorist activities.

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