Panchamasalis Rally for 2A Reservation Category in Bengaluru
The rallying leaders also want the central government to grant Other Backward Class (OBC) status to their community.
Members of the Panchamasali (Lingayat) community held a rally in Bengaluru's Palace Grounds on Sunday, 21 February, for their inclusion in the 2A category of the state Backward Class reservation list, news agency ANI reported.
“We have about 1.5 crore people in our community. 90 percent of them are farmers struggling for livelihood. We want members of our community to have good education and jobs," said Vachanananda Swami, who was among the leading members of the rally, ANI added.
The gathering followed a week-long march, which was led by influential Panchamasali seers, from Kudalasangama in Bagalkote district.
J Mruthyunjaya Swami, another leading member from Sunday’s rally, expressed, "If Yediyurappa-government doesn't respond today, we'll begin a satyagraha and head to Vidhan Sabha,” ANI reported.
The rallying leaders want the central government to grant Other Backward Class (OBC) status to their community.
Panchamasalis are the largest sect among the Lingayats, a powerful community in the state. Currently, they are within in 3B reservation category.
The change in reservation that they are appealing for will give them 15 percent of the educational and employment seats.
‘Discussions Regarding Way Forward Are On’
Last week, Karnataka minister Murugesh Nirani had said that the government should consider the reservation for the Panchamasalis. “There is nothing wrong to include this community in the 2A category of the backward classes list and entitle them (15%) reservations in government jobs and education,” PTI quoted Nirani as saying.
The chief minister, too, informed that he had discussed the matter at the Cabinet meeting and all the ministers had expressed their opinions, the report added.
“Discussions are on regarding the way forward,” he added.
CM Yediyurappa, who is a Veerashaiva leader himself, is facing severe pressure from the Lingayat seers. The other Lingayat sects, including Vokkaligas and Veerashaiva Lingayats are also asking for reservations.
(With inputs from ANI)
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