BJP MLA leads over 1 Lakh protesting Lingayats in Karnatakatext_fields
Belagavi, Karnataka: A BJP MLA in the state today has led a massive rally of the Panchamasali Lingayat community demanding reservations in education and government jobs for the community.
Panchamasali Lingayat community is a sub-sect of the upper caste Lingayat group in Karnataka which forms nearly 18 per cent of the state's population, according to NDTV.
Basanagouda Patil, who led the protest with over a lakh members of the community, has reportedly fallen out with senior party leaders BS Yediyurappa and BS Bommai.
Panchamasali Lingayats, who constitute 60 per cent of the Lingayat population, have been clamouring for political representation, citing the size of the community.
They are reportedly highly influential in over 100 seats in the Kittur Karnataka region forming 7 districts.
The Panchamsalis, the largest of the sub sects of the Lingayat Community, are mostly farmers or into farming, hence they carry a plough as a symbol, the report said.
Though they are getting 5 per cent reservation under 3B category of the OBC quota, the Veerashaiva Lingayats want 15 per cent reservation under 2A category.
The demand raised by communities in OBCs for increasing reservations gives hard time for chief minister Basavaraj Bommai ahead of the state polls next year.
Other communities like the Panchamasalis, Vokkaligas, and Marathas also want an increase in reservation quota.
Amid the calls for reservation, the Karnataka government tabled a Bill in the Assembly raising reservations of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from 15 per cent to 17 per cent and from 3 per cent to 7 per cent respectively.
This in effect, reportedly, breaches the Supreme Court mandated 50 per cent cap on quotas.
Interestingly, the SCs make up 16 per cent of the state's population while the SC forms 6.9 per cent.