The renaming of 100 Morarji Desai and Kittoor Rani Chennamma Schools sanctioned for SC and ST students as Srimathi Indira Gandhi Residential School has created a controversy in the State, reported Kannada Prabha.

BJP and JD(S) have strongly condemned the State Government’s action and have warned of protest if it is not reverted. In the year 2016-17 278 residential schools were sanctioned as Morarji Desai and Rani Chennamma Schools.  Of these 66 schools of SC and 24 schools of ST and 10 schools of backward community totalling 100 were renamed as Srimathi Indira Gandhi Residential School. A notice stating this was released by Social Welfare Minister Anjaneya on July 5.

Strangely all the 100 schools thus renamed have been sanctioned under the Morarji Desai School project.  Not a single school sanctioned under Rani Chennamma has been renamed.

A letter was submitted by the CEO of Karnataka Residential Education Institutions Association on May 11 addressed to Social Welfare Department requesting to change the Morarji Desai School and Rani Chennamma Schools as Srimathi Indira Gandhi Residential School. The Department of Social Welfare has defended its step to change the name based on this letter.

Former CM and State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa has strongly condemned the renaming and has warned protest. Speaking to newspersons he said Morarji Desai’s name must not be changed and the Party would take up agitation against this.

J D (S) leader and legislator Y S V Dutta said it is not a good precedent to change the name of Morarji Desai. It was named after him as an honour. By changing the name the State Government is showing disrespect to the former prime minister, he said.

Responding to this the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the old schools are not being renamed but new 100 schools in Indira Gandhi’s names are being established. Speaking to newspersons at Delhi he said it was he who sanctioned Morarji Desai Residential Schools in 1994-95 when he was the Finance Minister for the first time. He asked if Yeddyurappa knows that. For the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar 125 residential schools are being launched. For Indira Gandhi’s 100th anniversary 100 residential schools will be launched he said.