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Panchamasali Reservation Demand Gets Louder in Karnataka Assembly

File photo of Basanagouda Patil Yatnal

File photo of Basanagouda Patil Yatnal

Karnataka to set up a three-member panel headed by a retired judge to look into the demands of various communities who have asked for reservation.

For the second consecutive day, BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal raised the issue of reservation demand by Panchamasali Lingayats and taken up for discussion on Wednesday. The member, who is also a key leader demanding the reservation, expressed disappointment over the government’s response to their demands.

Panchamasalis are a subsect of the Lingayat community and the sect members including seers have been demanding they be categorised under 2A which would give the community 15% reservation in education and jobs. Now they are under 3B category which provides 5% reservation.

“Our demand is to give us reservation from the existing 50% reservation category. I doubt if this government can come up with a solution. We already have a backward classes commission. Then why was there a need to set up another one under a retired judge?” Yatnal asked in the House.

The Karnataka Cabinet on Wednesday decided to constitute a three-member committee headed by a retired judge to look into the demands of various communities who have asked for reservation. Revising the existing reservations would lead to exceeding the current reservation quota of 50% set by the Supreme Court. The committee would advise the government on how to proceed with addressing the demands.

“We have taken a serious note of the concerns raised by the various communities and will ensure all get justice. But this needs to be looked into constitutionally and legally. We are bound to give justice as per the laws. The government must act responsibly,” said Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Yatnal, however, expressed displeasure over the response from the government.

“You must tell us by when you will fulfill our demands. The Chief Minister had also given us assurance that Panchamasalis would be categorised as 2A but there has not been any attempt towards it,” Yatnal added.

While Yatnal and Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa met in the lounge at Vidhana Soudha briefly on Tuesday, the latter was seen assuring Yatnal that he would sit down to discuss their concerns. The Chief Minister was, however, absent in the House on Wednesday.

The community leaders also expressed disappointment over not finding their demand fulfilled during the budget announced on Monday.

BS Yediyurappa announced allocation of funds for different communities. As per the budget allocation for financial year 2021-22, Rs 500 crore will be allocated for the Veerashaiva Lingayat community board of which Rs 100 crore has already been released.

A new board will be established for the development of Vokkaliga community with an outlay of Rs 500 crore.

Several programmes will also be undertaken by the Brahmin development board with an allocation of Rs 50 crore. The government has allocated Rs 1,500 crore for the upliftment of minorities. Rs 200 crore has also been allocated for the Christian community for programmes including renovation and repair of churches, building of community halls, assistance to orphanages and old age homes.

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first published:March 10, 2021, 20:49 IST