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After Amit Shah intervention, CM defers decision to grant OBC status to Veerashaiva-Lingayats

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on November 27, 2020 Published on November 27, 2020

BS Yeddyurappa

Karnataka Cabinet on Friday deferred its decision to grant Other Backward Caste (OBC) status to the numerically strong Veerashaiva-Lingayat community.

Close on the heels of Bharatiya Janata Party government setting up a Veerashaiva-Lingayat Development Corporation, the Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa wanted to grant OBC status to the , of which he is a member himself.

The BJP central leadership led by Union Home Minister Amit Shah is said to have persuaded Yeddyurappa to defer the plan and go for a wider consultation.

In Karnataka, the community currently comes under the backward class with category 3B with a 5 per cent reservation. The inclusion in Central government’s OBC list would give it 27 per cent reservation in all Central government recruitment and in educational institutions.

The Chief Minister told reporters, “No decision has been taken on the recommendation to the Centre for the community to be included as an OBC.”

“Everything will be decided after I visit New Delhi. As of now, we are discussing other issues. I spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Cabinet expansion will be done soon in three-four days,” he added.

Amit Shah’s call to Yediyurappa has led to a lot of speculation in the State BJP fold. Especially, on the issue of leadership change, Cabinet expansion and reshuffle which are out in the open.

Granting OBC status to the community has huge political ramifications. Yediyurappa is expected to consolidate his hold on the community and is expected to throw a challenge to BJP central leadership, when the issue comes up for discussion, according to those in the know.

The community-specific development corporation is expected to empower it in social and economic spheres. With an allocation of ₹500 crore, Chief Minister has appointed BS Paramashivaiah, the president of the Karnataka Veerashaiva Vidyabhivruddhi Samsthe as its head.

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Published on November 27, 2020
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