Vijayapura: Just a couple of days after Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced the establishment of a Maratha Development Authority for the welfare of the Maratha community, former minister and MLA M B Patil has demanded that the government provide 16% reservation to the Lingayat community of the state.
In a letter written to the CM, Patil, who had spearheaded the agitation for the recognition of Lingayat as a separate religion, said that with the Lingayats forming nearly 18% of the state’s population, the government should provide reservation for the community when it comes to jobs and education.
Despite forming a significant part of the population in the state, the community is not getting any reservation benefits. Claiming that the Maharashtra government has offered reservation to Lingayats in education, employment and providing other benefits such as scholarships, the Government of Karnataka should also offer similar benefits to the community, he stated.
Referring to a demand to constitute a Lingayat Development Board, he said that this will not fetch any benefits for the community. The idea to establish a Board is nothing but an eye-wash and will not help the community in any way, the Congress leader opined.
He opined that the best possible way to ensure the overall development of the Lingayat community is to ensure a minimum of 16 to 18 per cent reservation in the state.
It can be noted that recently, former minister and JD(S) MLC Basavaraj Horatti had also written a similar letter to the CM.
During the agitation launched to demand the recognition of Lingayat as a separate religion, several seers of the state had participated by expressing solidarity with the agitators.
It would be interesting to see how many seers of the community will extend support to Patil’s demand for reservation for the Lingayats.