BENGALURU: The BJP government in the state has managed to buy itself some time on the issue of reservation for the Panchamasali-Lingayat community under the backward 2A category. The community leaders, who were threatening to renew their agitation, have relented for the time being after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai spoke to them at length on Friday.
The CM had invited Lingayat Panchamasali Peetha pontiff Jaya Mrutunjaya Swami, Lingayat Panchamasali Mahasabha president Vijayanand Kashappanavar and other community leaders to his home office ‘Krishna’ on Friday morning for a detailed discussion where PWD minister C C Patil, also a Panchamasali leader, was also present.
Asked about the government’s strategy, Bommai said, “We will start this process as soon as possible. The power to accord reservation has been given to the states. We will have to take it up after the Backward Classes commission submits its report.’’
Speaking at the meeting, C C Patil who told the community leaders that he was speaking responsibly as a minister, said, “The government is concerned about providing reservation to the community. As soon as the Backward Classes Commission comes up with its report, the government will start the process. The CM himself has assured that it will be done. We need to have confidence.’’
Speaking to TNIE Vijayanand Kashappanavar said, “So far, no chief minister had invited us to his Home Office to hear out our demand at length, which Bommai has done. We will wait for three months as they have suggested.’’
The Lingayat Panchamasalis are already under the reserved 3B category where 5 per cent reservation is given. They are seeking reservation under the backward 2A category where the reservation is 15 per cent.
The community leaders and members had in February marched from Kudala Sangama in Bagalkot district to Bengaluru to press for their demand. At the Palace Grounds rally, attended by lakhs of supporters, they had threatened to start a hunger strike. The then Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had then sought time and
referred the issue to the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission.