News Karnataka
Friday, December 01 2023

Bengaluru: Battle of quotas heats up in run-up to Assembly polls

Karnataka: Stage set for polling in State, 2,613 candidates in fray
Photo Credit : IANS

Bengaluru: The developments surrounding reservation demands by various communities in State are slowly leading to confrontations in the State between people.

The State Brahmin association has given a call to the community members not to sit quiet with the ruling BJP’s plan of allocating the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota to Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities which have 16 per cent and 17 per cent of the population in the State.

On the other hand Jaya Mrutynjaya Swamiji demanding reservation under the OBC quota for the Lingayat Panchamasali sub-sect had rejected the recent government order to accommodate the sect under the new provision in the OBC category and set a new deadline to fulfil it.

Thr ruling BJP is in a fix over the issue. Brahmins, Lingayats form the core vote bank of the BJP in Karnataka. The saffron party wants to win a considerable number of seats in south Karnataka which is considered as the Vokkaliga belt. At the same time, the party can’t afford to lose out on the votes of the OBCs.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is in a predicament over the development ahead of the assembly polls which will be held in less than three months.

The Karnataka cabinet has given its consent to the enhancement of reservation for the scheduled caste and scheduled tribes in the state as per the recommendations of the Justice Nagamohan Das Committee report of October 8, 2022.

A government order was also released increasing the reservation for SCs from 15 per cent to 17 per cent and 3 per cent to 7 per cent for STs in Karnataka.

Bommai stated that he felt blessed for getting the opportunity to hike reservations for SC/ST. Bharatiya Janata Party ministers Sriramulu, Govind Karajol and legislators held mega rallies and conventions in the state and batted for their party’s objective for the welfare of SCs and STs.

The opposition Congress party in the state was shocked as it was preparing to launch a campaign in this regard on a large scale. The party tried to take the credit for it, slamming the BJP. Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and state Congress president D.K. Shivakumar claimed that the ruling BJP increased the quota on the recommendation of the Justice Nagmohan Das Committee, formed during the tenure of the Congress government.

The BJP, which was celebrating the move, realised that it had opened a Pandora’s box regarding reservation. Other community groups also intensified their agitations and demands for it.

The Panchamasali community leaders had set a deadline and had threatened the government that if reservation was not declared for them they would lay siege to the Belagavi Suvarna Soudha, when the winter session was being held in the last week of December. Vokkaliga delegations have also met Bommai and demanded that their quota should be increased and they also should be moved to the OBC category.

The BJP government has announced moving the Panchamasali Lingayat sub-sect to Category 2C from Category 3 B and Vokkaligas from Category 3 A to Category 2C. The OBC communities were assured that their quota of reservation would not be touched.

However, as the elections are nearing, the issue of reservation quotas is going to impact the society and create a law and order situation in the state.

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