Former Union Minister and Congress Working Committee Member Chinta Mohan on Wednesday alleged that the failure of the State government in releasing the scholarships for SC/ST and OBC students during the last two years in Andhra Pradesh is depriving students of these communities to pursue higher studies.

The students, right from Class VI to degree/PG and professional courses, were not given their scholarships for the past two years. They were in no position to pay tuition fees and hostel fees due to non-receipt of scholarship dues. Around 80 lakh students,under these categories in A.P. were eligible for scholarships but were being deprived of the same, Mr. Mohan alleged at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Demanding payment of scholarship arrears to the students before Deepavali, the senior leader of the Congress recalled how he had got a scholarship of ₹18.69 paise during the early 1960s as a student of Class VI and how helpful it was in pursuing his school, college and professional studies. Luminaries like B.R. Ambedkar, K.R. Narayanan and Babu Jagjivan Ram had all come up in life by making use of scholarships, which was provided as a matter of right by the Constitution to the underprivileged classes, he said.

Replying to a query, Mr. Chinta Mohan alleged that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government was diverting the scholarships to other welfare programmes.

To another query, Mr. Mohan said that he had taken the issue of privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) to the notice of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and that the latter was planning to visit Visakhapatnam soon.