Panchamasali Lingayat seers give ultimatum to Yediyurappa govt over reservation
- Several leaders from Congress and the BJP were also seen raising demands for the reservation for the community at the gathering.
Thousands of members of the Panchamasali Lingayat community gathered in Karnataka’ Bengaluru on Sunday demanding reservations for the community and its inclusion under the Category 2A in the state quota, warning that if the BS Yediyurappa-led government fails to do so they will organise a massive protest march.
“If Yediyurappa-led government doesn't respond by today, we will begin satyagraha and head towards the Vidhan Sabha,” J Mruthyunjaya Swami, one of the main members leading the protest, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The gathering amassed at Palace Grounds in Bengaluru after influential Panchamasali Lingayat seers led a week-long march from Kudalasangama in Bagalkote district, about 500km from Bengaluru, demanding that the Yediyurappa government take note of the reservation demands of the community. Several leaders from Congress and the BJP were also seen raising demands for the reservation for the community at the gathering.
Yediyurappa has come under widespread criticism from various quarters, including his own party’s leaders as well as the opposition, who claim that the Karnataka chief minister has not given due consideration to the demands of the Panchamasali Lingayat community. The Panchamasali Lingayat community is one of the largest sub-sect within the Lingayat community.
Karnataka minister Murugesh Nirani had said last week that the government should consider giving reservation to the Panchamasali Lingayats. “There is nothing wrong to include this community in the 2A category of the backward classes list and entitle them (15%) reservations in government jobs and education,” Nirani was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Yediyurappa along with state home and law minister Basavaraj Bommai said that they are listening to the inputs shared by fellow cabinet members as well as other lawmakers to address the issues raised by these communities while addressing the press on Thursday.
“I have discussed it at the cabinet meeting, all the ministers have expressed their opinion, discussions are on regarding the way forward,” the chief minister was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The Yediyurappa-led government is also facing demands for reservation from the dominant Vokkaliga and Veerashaiva-Lingayat communities. It is also facing demands for reservation from the Kuruba community as well. The Karnataka government currently provides 15% reservation for communities who come under Scheduled Castes (SC), 3% reservation for Scheduled Tribes (ST) and 32% reservation for communities under the communities who come under the ambit of other backward classes (OBCs).
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