The reservation demand by the Panchamasali community, a sub-sect of the Veerashaiva Lingayat community, received a boost after the state government assured to fulfil their demand by December 29, said BJP MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Backward Classes Commission submitted its interim report to the state government on reservation for various communities.
Yatnal is among the leaders spearheading the reservation demand for the community. Speaking at a massive Panchamasali convention held near the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha at Belagavi Thursday, Yatnal said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has “promised” that he would announce reservation for the community by December 29. “The government will hold an all party meeting and announce the reservation under the 2A category by December 29,” he said.
In the same breath, however, he warned of electoral ramifications if the BJP fails to fulfil the promise. “We will send them (BJP) home,” he said.
Meanwhile, the report submitted by the Commission had recommended carving out a separate quota for the Panchamasali community without disturbing the existing quota, said sources. The state government was wary that providing reservation to the Panchamsalis under the 2A category would antagonise the 102 castes that fall under 2A, causing unnecessary complications for the ruling BJP government ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls.
The exact percentage of the quota likely to be granted to the Panchamasalis is still unclear.
Karnataka, it can be recalled, has already exceeded the 50 per cent reservation ceiling as it has already announced to hike the reservation for the SC and ST communities (from 15 to 17 per cent for SCs and three to seven per cent for STs). Currently, the total reservation stands at 56 per cent, which includes 32 per cent reservation for Other Backward Castes and minorities in the state.
The state Cabinet, which met Thursday, also held informal discussion on the quota demand by the community. Following the Cabinet meeting, Bommai huddled with prominent leaders of the Panchamasali community such as Vijayanand Kashappanavar, Vinay Kulkarni and others. The decision of the state government was then communicated to the massive gathering by Yatnal.
The quota stir of the Panchamasali community started in February 2021, following which the community leaders under its seer Jayamrutyunjaya Swamiji had set multiple deadlines for the government to fulfil their demands.