Upper hand for Jagan on English medium!

After weeks of intense debates in the media and outside, agitations by leaders and political mudslinging, YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has gained an upper hand over his decision to introduce English medium in government schools.

The issue came up for serious discussion in the state assembly on Thursday. Telugu Desam Party president and opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu was forced to concede that English medium is essential for increasing the competitiveness among students of the state. 

Jagan successfully exposed Naidu’s U-turn by recalling how he had instructed his party leaders to launch an attack on the government for taking a decision.

Naidu had to go on the defensive, stating that it was he who had introduced English medium in municipal schools which Jagan’s own daily Sakshi had opposed it. He, however, said there should be a choice for the students to choose between the two mediums.

Having been a hot topic for several weeks, the issue has naturally become a lead story in all the major newspapers. Though Andhra Jyothy pushed the report inside, Eenadu and Sakshi carried it as a banner story.

While Sakshi sought to project it as a major achievement and a revolutionary step, Eenadu tried to play it down by also highlighting the discussion on “gag order” on media by the Jagan government. It quoted Naidu’s statement that the entire national media and Press Council had raised concern over the said government order.

The only other common issue that figured prominently on the front pages of all the three dailies was the demise of popular writer and actor Gollapudi Maruthi Rao in Chennai on Thursday. Even the headline “Gollapudi Ika Leru” (Gollapudi is no more) was common in all the three dailies.

As usual, both anti-establishment dailies – Eenadu and Andhra Jyothy – gave a lot of coverage to Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan’s one-day Rythu Sowbhagya Deeksha at Kakinada on Thursday. 

Eenadu quoted Pawan questioning discrimination of farmers by Jagan government on the basis of caste and Andhra Jyothy highlighted Pawan’s statement that he, too, would get his turn one day when the present ruling party would be burnt to ashes.

Sakshi was the only daily which carried two important developments of the day: appointment of a three-member commission by Supreme Court to probe into the killing of four rape accused in an alleged encounter with the police at Shadnagar last week; and dismissal of review petition by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Ayodhya judgement.

On the other hand, Eenadu was the only daily which published the national story on the north-eastern India going on the boil over Citizenship Amendment Bill.

The two ant-government dailies also published, as usual, their brand of negative stories. Eenadu carried the report on restoration of lease to Saraswati Power Ltd owned by Jagan. 

Andhra Jyothy’s report was on suspension of senior IRS officer Jasti Krishna Kishore, former director of AP Economic Development Board on the charges of irregularities.

It said the action was a sort of revenge on the officer for pointing out alleged irregularities in jacking up the share of value of Jagati Publications when he was the income tax officer.