BENGALURU: The Karnataka government is considering according reservation for backward communities in local bodies like gram panchayats, which is expected to come up for discussion soon and may even figure in Friday’s cabinet meeting. This is expected to be a gamechanger as will counter to the Women’s Reservation Bill brought in by the Union government on Wednesday.
Until now, only SC/STs enjoyed representational reservation. The state has a total of 51 assembly seats for SCs and STs. Experts said about 60 per cent of the population belongs to backward categories, and most of them have voted Congress.
This decision comes months before the parliamentary polls, and over 8,000 GPs across the state could give the Congress an edge. The party has always enjoyed the support of backward communities. Zilla Panchayats, Taluk Panchayats, Town Municipal and City Municipal bodies already have reservations for backwards under Category A and Category B, which is likely to be made more comprehensive.
A recent study was launched into aspects of social justice by the Justice Dr K Bhaktavatsala Commission, a report was submitted and the findings could be discussed and included in this reservation, sources said.
It may be recalled that senior Congress leader MLC B K Hariprasad had raised the issue of Backward Communities enjoying important positions.
There was also talk that backwards had got a raw deal because although they represent such a large number, and have only three representatives in the cabinet -- CM Siddaramaiah, Byrathi Basavaraj and Madhu Bangarappa, which is gross under representation, some insiders alleged.
CS Dwarakanath, former chairman of the Backward Classes Commission, said, “The move to accord representational reservation to Backward Classes is welcome because proportionally they have not been represented in the electoral system.”