Inclusion in 2A category of BC list: Panchamasalis threaten to intensify stir

Vijayananda Kashappanavar, former legislator and one of the leaders of the Panchamasali agitation, said that BS Yediyurappa lost the top chair because of the curse of the seer, Sri Basava Jaya Mruthyunjaya Swami of the Kudalasangama, who was made to walk over 700 kms padayatra for the cause.
The leaders of the Panchamasali community had given the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Karnataka government time till September 15 and have now said that the members of the community will intensify their struggle from October 1. (Agencies)
The leaders of the Panchamasali community had given the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Karnataka government time till September 15 and have now said that the members of the community will intensify their struggle from October 1. (Agencies)
Published on Sep 20, 2021 12:46 AM IST
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By Sharan Poovanna, Bengaluru

Leaders and influential seers of the Panchamasali, the largest sub-sect of the Lingayat community, on Sunday reiterated their threat to intensify their struggle to be included in the 2A category of the backward classes list to avail of reservation.

Vijayananda Kashappanavar, former legislator and one of the leaders of the Panchamasali agitation, said that BS Yediyurappa lost the top chair because of the curse of the seer, Sri Basava Jaya Mruthyunjaya Swami of the Kudalasangama, who was made to walk over 700 kms for the demand.

Kashappanavar is also the national president of the Akhila Bharatha Lingayata Panchamasali Mahasabha.

“This is our final struggle,”Kashappanavar said, adding that the community would gherao or surround the Vidhana Soudha if need be to get the government accept to their demand.

Yediyurappa had assured to look into the demands when he was chief minister and had sought time to review the matter. The leaders of the community had given the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government time till September 15 and have now said that the members of the community will intensify their struggle from October 1.

The statements add to the challenges to the Basavaraj Bommai-led government who appear to have inherited the burden of promises made by his predecessor and have to now deal with rising tempers and manage expectations.

“We will restart our satyagraha,” Kashappanavar said. He added that until now the community has continued its struggle in a peaceful manner.

“Now our people should listen to us, no? Not everyone is under our control because they are fed up. We are Panchamasalis; if we lose our heads, then there is no listening to anyone,” he said, adding that the struggle could get more fierce.

The reservation row in Karnataka has seen dominant and backward caste groups slug it out to get the government to heed to their demands. The Lingayats and Vokkaligas, believed to be the two dominant caste groups in the state, have demanded that the 2015 socio-economic and educational survey not be released. A newly created forum of the extreme backward classes has demanded that the exercise undertaken by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in 2015 be released and Panchamasalis be not included in the 2A list as it would further deprive marginalized groups of the quota pie.

The group already nurses a feeling of neglect after the BJP chose Bommai, from the Sadar Lingayat sub-sect of the community, to replace Yediyurappa.

The Lingayats have long stood behind the BJP and Yediyurappa but have now threatened to hold the party to its promises of better reservation status.

Sri Basava Jaya Mruthyunjaya Swami, the seer of the Kudalasangama, hinted that it was Yediyurappa who deliberately sabotaged the chances of Murugesh Nirani, also a Panchamasali, to become chief minister.

Nirani, a loyalist of Yediyurappa, was quick to dismiss the claim made by the seer.

“To say that Yediyurappa made me miss a chance to become chief minister is far from the truth,” Nirani said in a post on Twitter.

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Monday, October 18, 2021