National

BJP government on sticky wicket over Panchamasali Lingayat’s quota demand

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on February 22, 2021

Sri Basava Jayamruthyunjaya Swami Panchamasali community members staged protest and demanding to include Panchamasali community to 2A category at Freedom Park in Bengaluru on Monday   -  The Hindu

Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka, under severe pressure due to the indefinite dharna by Panchamasali Lingayat community demanding reservation, has launched a damage control exercise.

Two prominent ministers from the community, which is demanding including under 2A category, — Murugesh Nirani and CC Patil, at a press conference on Monday accused the Congress of backing the protests. They lashed out at former Congress MLA Vijayananda Kashappanavar for using the issue for political gain.

Under 2A (More Backward) category, the community would be eligible for 15 percent reservation in education and government jobs compared with 5 per cent under the present 3A, 3B classification now.

The ministers assured the community that Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is aware of their demand and would fulfill the community wishes in due time. They also mooted the idea that the government is planning to bring Panchamasali along with other smaller sub-sect of Lingayats under 2A category of reservation.

They urged seer Basava Jayamruthyunjaya Swami of Koodala Sangama Panchamasali Peetha to withdraw his protest. The religious leader of the community recently concluded a 800-km padayatra along with Basava Jayamruthyunjaya Swami of Koodala Sangama Panchamasali Peetha and Vachananda Swami, the Harihara Panchamsali Peetha seer. This was followed by a rally on Sunday. He has announced a protest up to March 4 insisting on the reservation and has threatened to go on a hunger strike if the demand is not met.

Quota

Experts say the inclusion of Panchamasali Lingayats under category 2A can potentially lead to other communities also demanding similar status. Currently 2A reservation has 102 communities, all of which are traditionally landless artisan communities.

At present Panchamasalis come under the categories 3A and 3B which comprise of landowning agricultural communities.

Panchamasali Lingayat community currently comes under 3B (Backward) category of reservation, which entails 5 per cent reservation in education and government jobs.

The demand is for inclusion under 2A (More Backward) category which offers 15 per cent reservation in both education and government jobs.

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Published on February 22, 2021
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