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2-min read

Andhra Move to Reserve Jobs For Locals Spurs Demand in Karnataka Too, 300 to Go on Hunger Strike Today

About 300 activists are going on a 'satyagraha' fast for 24 hours from 10am on August 14 till 10am on August 15. The protesters will hold a demonstration at the Gandhi statue in the heart of the city off Race Course Road.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:August 14, 2019, 10:09 AM IST
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Andhra Move to Reserve Jobs For Locals Spurs Demand in Karnataka Too, 300 to Go on Hunger Strike Today
File photo of Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa.
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Bengaluru: This Independence Day, pro-Kannada organisations are upping their campaign to demand jobs for locals in Karnataka once again.

About 300 activists are going on a 'satyagraha' fast for 24 hours from 10am on August 14 till 10am on August 15. The protesters will hold a demonstration at the Gandhi statue in the heart of the city off Race Course Road.

Another 2,500 activists are expected to lend support to the cause during this 24-hour period. A bevy of film stars, including Upendra, Chetan and Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar, and politicians such as Rajya Sabha MP L Hanumanthaiah and other activists like Chukki Nanjundaswamy and chairman of the Kannada Development Authority SG Siddaramaiah have also endorsed the campaign.

"A campaign for a good policy for Karnataka jobs for Kannadigas has been going on for the last four to six months. There was a social media campaign two months back too. But ultimately, online campaigns don’t work unless they are backed by an on-ground campaign and only then government considers this demand," said Arun Javagal, a language activist.

The activists are mounting this campaign to demand a policy similar to the one recently passed by Andhra Pradesh, which has reserved 75 per cent of jobs in industrial units and factories set up under public-private partnership mode for locals.

The law, which kicked in last month, mandates that if companies are not able to find skilled workers among locals for the job, they must train them with government support.

Two months ago, a similar campaign by Kannada activists had forced the central government to make changes in bank recruitment exam patterns, allowing candidates to write in the regional language to get bank jobs, instead of just English and Hindi.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa tweeted in response to the jobs campaign. "We realise that kannadigas must get more employment opportunities in Karnataka and our government's policy too is geared in this direction. We respect the sentiments of the people of this land and we assure that we will work in such a way that people's aspirations are not thwarted," he said.

The demand of activists is to ensure locals get preference in jobs across all sectors - government (state and central) and private - and across all ranks or grades. “In Karnataka also (like Andhra), policy is at final stage from last two years. Even Cabinet has approved it few months back, we are given to believe. But it hasn't materialised though it always seems like it's about to happen soon," says Javagal.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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