Nayaka community intensify ST reservation agitation

Nayaka community leader warned of intensifying protests both inside the house as well as on the streets if the ST category reservation is not increased to 7.5 per cent.

Published: 08th October 2021 01:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th October 2021 01:05 AM   |  A+A-

Quota, reservation

Representational Image. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

CHITRADURGA: Second-time MLA from Challakere and Nayaka community leader T Raghumurthy put his weight behind the seer of the community, Punyanandapuri Swamy, over the issue of reservation. He warned of intensifying protests both inside the house as well as on the streets if the ST category reservation is not increased to 7.5 per cent.

The present reservation of 2.5 per cent was given to the ST community as per the 1992 census when the size of the community was very less. However, three decades later, the size of the population has grown leaps and bounds and is now standing at 42 lakhs across the state as per the 2011 census. Along with this, various new castes have been included in the tribal category, and nearby castes have been included by removing area restrictions. This is not beneficial to the original tribal community who are asking for reservations to be reworked.

The present reservation being demanded is for education and employment since the community has been allocated a political reservation of 7.5 percent, which has enabled 15 MLAs from various political parties to represent them in the Vidhana Soudha.

Speaking to The New Indian Express former Chairman of Hatti Gold Mines and two times MLA from Challakere T Raghumurthy said, "Considering the sea change difference in the population since 1992, our demand is a hike in the reservation percentage to equate with the Union government's reservation policy. As per the Centre, we have to get a 7.5 percent reservation as per the 2011 census. If the new census is included, then the reservation percentage should increase."

"It was in the year 2019 that our Swami Prasannandapuri conducted a 350 km padayatra from Rajanahalli to Bengaluru demanding an increase in reservation. The then coalition government had constituted a committee headed by Justice Nagmohan Das to look into the reservation matter. The committee recommended in its July 2020 report to former CM BS Yediyurappa an increase in the reservation. Yediyurappa had promised to increase the reservation based on the committee recommendations, however, he didn't take any decision", said Raghumurthy.

The BJP government is unlikely to increase the reservation for scheduled tribes, especially the Nayaka community, which is indicated by its inaction post the report submission. BJP and former CM Yediyurappa postponed the issue and formed a cabinet sub-committee headed by present transport minister B Sriramulu, present CM Basavaraj Bommai, R Ashok and J Madhuswamy. He directed them to submit the report by February 21, a deadline that is long foregone.

The demands of the Kadu Golla and Kuruba community to be included in the ST category have now flared up and the Panchamasalis' too have intensified protests demanding for the 2A category. Even the ST MLAs from the Congress party raised the issue during the last session of the assembly and Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri mentioned that there will be time allocated to discuss reservation, however, the house was adjourned.

Swamiji Prasannandapuri has issued an ultimatum to the government demanding increased reservation by October 20, which also happens to be the Valmiki Jayanti. If the government fails to budge, the future course of agitation will be decided.

He also questioned that when other states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, and the Centre have increased reservation above 50 percent, why can't our state do the same.


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