BENGALURU: An overcast sky and subsequent heavy rains did not deter Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from making the promise the crowd wanted to hear — reservation increased to 70 percent in government sector and education.
On the occasion of Valmiki Jayanthi on Thursday, in front of a massive crowd that came from all over the state, Siddaramaiah said the government was considering increasing the reservation through a constitutional amendment as scheduled caste and tribal communities had not received their due in accordance with their population.
“We want STs to have 7.5 per cent reservation and SCs to have 17 per cent reservation. I am not doing this for the sake of votes. This will ensure social justice to all the communities that are disadvantaged. We have already spent `25,000 crore on Dalit communities and have allocated `7,000 crore this year,” he said.
The Valmiki community in state have been long demanding that the percentage of reservation for STs to which they belong be increased to 7.5 per cent.
Siddaramaiah’s government in an election year also went a step further and unveiled a 12-foot-statue of Valmiki installed between the west gate of Vidhana Soudha and Legislators’ Home. The statue has been constructed at a cost of `1 crore. He has also promised to fulfil more promises of the SC/ST communities during a rally to be held in the first week of December in Ballari. He also promised to consider the demand to name one Metro station and a university after Valmiki.
Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi appealed to the Chief Minister to consider 75 per cent reservation in education and employment sectors. He also said that other communities should be restricted from using the reservation available to these communities.Former minister Thippeswamy received the Maharshi Valmiki Award from the Chief Minister for his contribution towards empowerment of the community.
Rains make a mess
The promised rains in the city started through the middle of the programme sending the audience scurrying for cover. Crowds had surged towards Vidhana Soudha in the morning, having travelled from all over the state. Some of them climbed fences and trees to get a better view. Chairs were arranged in front of the dais and the lawn outside the fence to accommodate the huge crowd. As rains lashed, many covered themselves using the chairs and some even carried the chairs with them as they left the venue after the programme was over. Though arrangements were made to provide food for those who attended the event, the rain made it impossible to distribute the food. A few who attended the programme were stranded inside Vidhana Soudha for a long time.