In what seems like a move to garner support from Andhra-natives in Telangana, AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has decided to pay the tuition fee and extend scholarships to students who are native to his state.
"We have decided to pay for our students in Telangana districts as the Telangana government is not coming forward to pay for our students. Soon the chief minister will make an announcement on the proposed scheme for Andhra students in Telangana," HRD minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao told the Times of India.
"We will open a website exclusively for AP students in Telangana and monitor their well-being. We will also extend scholarships under social welfare schemes for them," social welfare minister Ravela Kishore Babu added, while speaking to TOI.
Since a large chunk of educational institutes in the two Telugu speaking states are based in and around Hyderabad, there are thousands of Andhra students who are studying in Telangana.
Telangana and Andhra were earlier in a bitter dispute over the issue of admissions and nativity of the students as the former had refused to reimburse fees of students from AP who were studying in the state.
The incident broke out after Telangana scrapped the existing fee reimbursement scheme and announced its own Financial Assistance for Students of Telangana (FAST) scheme, claiming that only those students whose parents were residents of Telangana before Nov 1, 1956 will be eligible for assistance.
The case even went to the Supreme Court, which observed that the students should not suffer because of the state's division.
Andhra's latest move is also being closely watched by political analysts, as it comes ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, which would mean the TDP could hold a lot of power in Hyderabad and slowly regain its foothold in Telangana.