No trust in Bommai, BSY, they made false promises, says Kudalasangama mutt seer
The seer said CM Bommai had promised and swore on his mother that he will give a 2A reservation on December 29. We asked for 2A reservation but they gave 2D. CM made a mistake by swearing on his mother and backtracking on it
In the recently concluded winter session of the Karnataka assembly in Belagavi, the government announced the creation of two new categories of reservation, 2C and 2D, to include the Lingayats and Vokkaligas. The two dominant communities, which are in 3A and 3B categories, have been demanding reservation under 2A status, and the government decided to abolish 3A and 3B categories. Since the announcement, the Panchamasali caste of the Lingayats has been demanding inclusion in the 2A category, which has 15% reservation. After chairing the state-level executing committee meeting in Belagavi, Basava Mruthyunjaya, seer of Kudalasangama mutt, asked Panchamasalis to reject the government’s decision. The Panchamasali Lingayat community wants to be included in category 2A (15%) of the OBC reservation matrix.
As agitation progressed the Basava Mruthyunjaya wrote to Prime Minister Modi claiming that the community has lost faith in the Bommai government and also threatened to campaign against legislators in the upcoming elections. For the BJP, which relies on the Lingayat vote bank, the protest from the largest sub-sect in the community has become a headache. In an interview, the seer said the community doesn’t want to talk to the state government anymore and expects the Centre to resolve the situation before the elections.
You had issued a threat to campaign in elections against those who don’t support the reservation for Panchamasali under 2A. Since the BJP in power, is it a threat to the ruling party?
It is not a threat to the BJP. I have said that anyone who doesn’t support the welfare of the community, particularly in our demand for reservation under 2A, we will campaign against them. Let them be from any political party. We have given the government a deadline to meet our demands. If our demands are not met, I will tour all 224 constituencies and create awareness among people about legislators who worked against us in this agitation. It is not about any party, it is about the individual; I will expose all legislators who tried to influence the government against giving us the reservation.
But you have said that you have lost faith in the BJP government, particularly in chief minister Basavaraj Bommai.
I stand by the statement. We have no trust in Bommai and BSY, who made false promises and tried to mislead our agitation for reservation. He swore on his mother and went back on his promise. He lied to us. CM had promised and swore on his mother that he will give a 2A reservation on December 29. We asked for 2A reservation but they gave 2D. CM made a mistake by swearing on his mother and backtracking on it. So, now there will be no more talks with the state government and if there are any talks, they will be with the Centre.
You had written to the Centre, any response?
I have written a letter to PM Modi and Amit Shah on January 17 seeking reservation under the 2A category. In the letter, I informed him about the feelings of the community and also pointed out how it could affect the BJP in the upcoming elections if our demands are not met. We have also made it clear that close to 80% of vote banks of the BJP come from the community and if our demands are not met, then it could affect the future prospects of the BJP. From the Centre, we have got a positive response. We have been informed that in a couple of meetings, our demands were discussed. We believe that Modi and Shah will fulfil our demand before the model code of conduct comes into place.
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Why are you insisting on 2A?
The government has shifted us to a new category, where there is no information regarding what percentage of reservation will be available or how much will the Panchamasali community get is unclear. The announcement and the notification are not in the goodwill of the community. We want what is best for our community and after deliberations, we have said that what our community needs is reservation under 2A. If the government really cares for the Panchamasali community, which let me remind you is the largest vote bank for the BJP, let them agree to our demands. If their decision is otherwise, it makes our next course action clear.
There are allegations that the protest is an attempt to take credit for the reservation announced for the community.
I’m not doing this for credit. This is the movement of the community. I’m part of this movement. We all have come together because we feel that the community has received a raw deal when it comes to reservation. I’m just a common seer who is fighting for his community. Once our demands are met, I will go back to my mutt and it will be my community members who will enjoy the benefits. These allegations are an attempt to divert attention from the real issues.
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Also, there is an allegation that you are teaming up with BJP MLA Basangouda Ramangouda Patil to discredit Bommai and stop him from being a major leader in the Lingayat community.
This is a blatant lie. As I have said earlier, I’m fighting this cause for my community.
It is alleged that you don’t represent the entire community.
Whoever said that should look at the number of people rallying behind our protest.