Vijayapura: Soon after Chief Karnataka Minister B S Yediyurappa announced the government’s decision to set up a Veerashaiva-Lingayat Development Board, several leaders of the community cutting across party lines have welcomed the decision.
Among them is Congress MLA from Indi, Yeshwantraigouda Patil, who called the decision ‘historical’.
Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, Patil said, “It was a demand of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community for a long time to have a separate development board for the welfare of their economically and socially weaker sections. Now that the BJP government has met the demand, I welcome the decision.”
He claimed to have first raised the matter during an Assembly session, where he had urged the government to set up a Board for the welfare and development of the community.
As many other legislators from different parties had also supported him regarding the issue, Patil commended the government for their decision.
Admitting that there are several people of the community who are well-off and don’t need financial assistance or benefits from the government, Patil added that there are other sects within the community that are financially weak and need support. A welfare board will help them greatly.
He then stated that as the government has decided to constitute a development board, it should also include the community in the 2A category.
Regarding the objection of some Seers of the community on the decision to set up a welfare board, Patil chose not to comment.
To a query regarding whether the government’s decision would open Pandora’s Box as many other communities would also demand a welfare board for themselves, Patil stated that there was nothing wrong in other communities making such demands.
“After all, it is the government’s job to provide benefits to all castes and communities alike. Any community which needs welfare schemes for their development should get such an opportunity from the government,” he added.
Regarding the objection raised by other Congress leaders such as former minister M B Patil, who pointed out that the government has not earmarked any funds but has merely announced the formation of a Board, Patil said that the government is not required to announce the financial aspects and the setting up of the Board on the same day.
“Everyone knows that the Central and state governments are facing an acute financial crisis due to the Covid pandemic. We must first welcome the government’s decision to constitute a Board and once the financial condition improves, we can ask for funds for the Board,” he said.