Karnataka cabinet headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa decided to constitute a high-level three member committee headed by a retired High Court Chief Justice to study the demands of various communities that are demanding reservations for respective communities in the state, Home, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.
This is seen as a calculated move by the ruling party to wriggle out from the reservation conundrum that was raised by four powerful communities - Lingayats, Vokkaliga, Kuruba and Valmiki - and agitations were led by BJP leaders and cabinet ministers themselves.
The decision has come just a day ahead of the month-long budget session that was to start from Thursday onwards.
Addressing media persons after the state cabinet meeting here, law and parliamentary affairs minister, Bommai said that several communities have been demanding that either they should be included in reservation or they be included in 'much higher' category.
"For instance, Kuruba (Shephards) of the state are demanding that they be included in Scheduled Tribe list, while a section of Lingayats are demanding that all 101 subsects of the community be included in Central OBC list, while the Panchamsali subsect of Lingyats has been demanding that they should brought under 2A category of state OBC list from present 3B category. Similarly the Schedule Tribe communities predominantly Valmikis are demanding that reservation of ST category is increased from present 3 per cent to 7.5 per cent. Besides this, there are several other communities are also demanding either internal reservation or they be included in different categories, hence it has become all pertinent for the state to constitute a high level committee to study all these issues carefully and submit its detailed report on these sensitive issues," he explained.
He conceded that reservation is a challenging issue for us going by the various communities demands, Karnataka aiming to resolve it amicably without hurting anyone. "The high level committee will be headed by retired High Court Chief Justice, retired bureaucrat and noted social scientist as reservations deal with ethnography too," he said.
The minister added that Kurubas demand to include them in STs has been referred to the national institute based Mysuru to carry out ethnography study is a case in point. "The Panchamasali demand had also been referred to Karnataka Backward Class commission, which will submit its report and this also needs to be studied carefully as going by the demand from various communities, the reservation quota that has been presently fixed to 50 per cent needs to be increased. Therefore, the state felt that such nitty-gritty reservations need to be studied thoroughly and arrive at firm conclusion which cannot be challenged in any court," he argued.
At present, Karnataka provides 32 per cent reservation for OBCs, 15 per cent for SCs and 3 per cent for STs, totalling 50 per cent as capped by the Supreme Court. If the BJP government decides to increase quotas, the 50 per cent cap will be breached, which would land it in a legal quagmire.
Last year, the H N Nagamohan Das Commission had recommended increasing reservation for SC from 15 per cent to 17 per cent and STs from 3 per cent to 7.5 per cent.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.