Yediyurappa’s decision to grant reservation to Lingayats postponed after high command intervention
The sudden move by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to provide reserves to the dominant Lingayat community in the state has been suspended after intervention by the party’s high command. The decision to postpone the decision was announced by the CM himself, who said: “The decision (on providing reservation to Veerashaiva Lingayats) will be made after my visit to Delhi as this is a special decision that requires further discussion. Even my colleagues in the cabinet are of the same opinion. “
The measure to provide reserve to the Lingayat community, which is the largest community by 16-17% of the state’s population, was seen as the sign of rebellion by the CM to the party’s high command. Yediyurappa, who comes from the community, is seen as their champion. The CM has been upset by the continuous statements of some party leaders about the change of leadership and its replacement, in addition to the excessive delay in approving the expansion of the cabinet.
The party high command and the local leadership are also said to be out of sync with who would be recruited. However, the CM commenting on the cabinet expansion said: “It will happen in 2-3 days. I have spoken with the Union Interior Minister Amit Shah and they will send a list (of ministers) soon. “
Veerashaiva Lingayats is currently included in the Other Backward Class category and some of the subsections are given preference in Category 3B, where the 5% reserve is based on economic criteria. Yediyurappa’s current proposal would allow Lingayats as a whole to get a quota below the 27% reserve for OBC in central government jobs and educational institutions. The measure, if implemented successfully, would also further enhance your stature as the tallest leader in the community.
Law Minister J Madhuswamy, explaining why the decision to grant the reservation to Lingayats was postponed, said: “There are several communities that are seen as advanced but are actually backward. So we wanted to take a holistic view with the help of anthropological studies and therefore postponement. “
Additionally, the inclusion of any community on the Central OBC list will occur after the state government recommends it and the Center accepts it. Interior Minister Amit Shah is said to have asked Yediyurappa not to make a decision on the matter, although Madhuswamy declined to comment on this saying: “We will make a comprehensive decision taking all factors into account.”
Last week, Yediyurappa had ordered the creation of a Veerashaiva Lingayat Development Board with an initial corpus of Rs 500 million, prompting clamor from several other communities for similar initiatives. On Friday, a delegation of leaders from Kuruba (community of traditional herders) met with the Chief Minister and demanded a similar corporation for the uplift of their community. BJP MLC Vishwanath, speaking to the media, said: “We also want a development board with a similar corpus. We also want members of our community to be incorporated into the cabinet during expansion. “
The Kurubas with 11% of the state’s population are the third largest community after Lingayats and Vokkaligas. Numerous heads of mutt Lingayat, including the head of Basava Peetha, Jaya Murtunjaya Swami, and Vachananda Swami of Panchamsali Mutt, have demanded that the government immediately announce the reservation for the Lingayats.
Senior political analyst Manjunath commenting on the Yediyurappa move said: “This is clearly a signal from Yediyurappa to the BJP high command that unless he is allowed to continue as CM and form a cabinet of his choice, he will take countermeasures. Also in 2012 he retired from the party. It would be interesting to see how the BJP high command meets the challenge posed by Yediyurappa. “