BENGALURU: Finding itself in a fix with at least half a dozen communities demanding an increase in reservation or re-categorisation for higher reservation, the BS Yediyurappa Cabinet on Wednesday decided to set up a three-member committee to study all such demands.
Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who also holds the Law and Parliamentary Affairs portfolio, told reporters that the high-level committee will be headed by a retired High Court judge and will guide the government on accommodating changes in reservation status within the legal and Constitutional framework.
With this committee, the cabinet hopes to get a breather from the continuous pressure being exerted on the BJP government by various communities, religious seers and ministers supporting such quota agitations.
“If the demands of all the communities are considered, then the total reservation will exceed 50 per cent. The Supreme Court’s Constitution bench in the Indra Sawhney case has ruled that reservation should not exceed 50 per cent. In case it needs to, then special criteria should be identified.
The SC has either stayed or altogether rejected some states’ attempts to increase reservation by more than 50 per cent. We need legal and Constitutional guidance while accommodating these requests, “Bommai said while explaining the role of the committee.
‘CM given power to make appointments’
The three-member committee will include a retired administrator and a social scientist as well. “The Chief Minister has been given the power to make appointments to the committee and it will set a time frame to submit its recommendations,” the minister said. The Panchamasali Lingayat community has demand reservation under Category-2A and the State Government has referred it to the Backward Classes Commission. The Valmiki community has sought an increase in quota and Justice Nagamohan Das has submitted a report on the same.
The Kuruba community has sought inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes category and an ethnography study is under way to access if their demands are valid. The Veerashaiva-Lingayats and Vokkaligas have sought to be included in the Centre’s OBC list. Apart from taking up these demands for considerations, the three-member committee will also look into recommendations made by various other committees and commissions appointed by the State Government on reservation.