Panel to study politically backward classes in Karnataka

Reservation for OBCs will be fixed after report on empirical data; state readies for elections to local bodies

Published: 01st April 2022 06:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2022 06:10 AM   |  A+A-

CM Basavaraj Bommai and CLP leader Siddaramaiah share a light moment during the all-party meeting at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Thursday | NAGARAJA GADEKAL

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Karnataka government will constitute a commission to identify and study politically backward classes and give it a time-frame to submit a report. Once the report is submitted, the government will take legal action, Law Minister JC Madhuswamy said.

An all-party meeting was convened to discuss issues related to the provision of reservation to backward classes and for local bodies elections, including Taluk and Zilla Panchayat polls. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Madhuswamy said the recent judgment in a case related to the Maharashtra government, the Supreme Court had directed that specific political backwardness and empirical data is mandatory to give reservation to OBCs in local bodies elections.

That is the reason for constituting the commission, he said. Karnataka is due to go for polls with reservation of president and vice-president of municipalities, and also Zilla and Taluk Panchayat polls. “Our government is not willing to conduct polls without reservation. We want to give priority to backward class people. We are constituting a commission to identify backward classes and give them terms of reference, including collecting empirical data.

Once we get the data or report, we want to implement it as per law. All these years we mentioned backwardness in education and job reservation. Since the Supreme Court is stressing on it, there is a need to check if these sections are politically backward or not. Once it is established, reservation can be provided as per the Supreme Court order,” he said.

Speaking on the amendment that has given power to states to fix reservation, he said the State government is looking at the possibility of crossing 50 per cent, and providing political reservation for backward classes. At present, there is 18 per cent reservation for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes in education and jobs, and 24.1 per cent reservation in various welfare schemes.

“If we get to know that these people have to be given reservation of 24.1 per cent, we will be left with hardly 25 per cent out of 50 per cent threshold, which might be difficult for us to accommodate. So we have sought the opinion of the Advocate-General and when we get both these reports, we will fix reservation for constituencies. If necessary, we will file an affidavit in the Supreme Court,’’ he said.  


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