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Rs 25 Cr Brahmin Development Corporation to Govt-Funded Shankara Jayanthi, Kumaraswamy Woos All

The opposition BJP is in a fix over Kumaraswamy's sops for the castes, including Brahmins.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:July 6, 2018, 11:21 AM IST
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Rs 25 Cr Brahmin Development Corporation to Govt-Funded Shankara Jayanthi, Kumaraswamy Woos All
File photo of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
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Bengaluru: A few months before the Assembly elections, the JDS patriarch HD Deve Gowda and wife Channamma had performed a 11-day-long elaborate Sahasra Chandika Yaga at the 1300-year-old Sringeri Shankar Mutt in Chikmagalur district.

The Gowda family believes that this rare religious ritual has once again made HD Kumaraswamy the chief minister of Karnataka.

The overly religious chief minister has declared in his maiden budget that Adi Shankaracharya Jayanthi would be celebrated across Karnataka as a public function from this year. The renaissance man of Hinduism Shankaracharya founded the Sri Sharada Peetha at Sringeri in the seventh century.

To woo the Brahmins, who are about four per cent of the total population in the state, Kumaraswamy has set aside Rs 25 crore to set up Brahmins Development Corporation. The proposed government body will look after the needs of economically backward Brahmins.

Speaking to News18, Kumaraswamy said that it was his election promise which he has fulfilled in his first budget.

He said, "There are many poor Brahmins. Unfortunately we can't give them caste reservations. Our government is for all castes and religions. That's why we have decided to set up Brahmin Development Corporation with an initial contribution of Rs 25 crore.”

He has also defended the state-sponsored Shankara Jayanthi. He said that Shankaracharya was a great spiritual leader of the world and his government was privileged to honour him through public celebrations.

To keep all castes happy, Kumaraswamy has sanctioned Rs 25 crore to 17 caste mutts, which range from Dalit mutts to tribal mutts.

A few months before the elections, the then CM Siddaramaiah had agreed to set up a corporation for the Brahmins. But it did not materialise.

Senior Congress MLA Dinesh Gundurao, who has just been made the state Congress president, had taken the lead then. Dinesh Gundurao is Brahmin face of the Congress in Karnataka.

The opposition BJP is in a fix over Kumaraswamy's sops for the castes, including Brahmins.

The previous BJP government, led by BS Yeddyurappa, made budgetary allocations for various caste run mutts and temples. It had sanctioned hundreds of crores for several dozen mutts and temples triggering public condemnation.

In neighbouring AP and Telangana, separate corporations for the Brahmins have been set up by the government a few years ago.
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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