Bengaluru :Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa on Monday allocated a whooping Rs 500 crore to the Karnataka Veerashaiva-Lingayat Development Corporation (KVLDC), raising many eyebrows.
The Chief Minister had only last week announced that such a body would be set up in the state.
His decision was preceded by the decision to set up a Maratha Development Authority (MDA). However, it had got an allocation of just Rs 50 crore.
The push for the KVLDC came after a group of Lingayat community ministers and MLAs led by Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi met Yediyurappa, who is considered the tallest political leader of the community, and urged him to form this corporation.
According to these leaders, even though Lingayats form 17 per cent population in Karnataka and have made a significant contribution in the state, the community has a substantial number of poor people, who eke out a living by working as labourers.
Yediyurappa's decision on the MDA comes ahead of the announcement of bypolls to the Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency, as well as Basavakalyan and Maski assembly constituencies, which have a sizeable Marathi-speaking population.
However, this announcement had not gone down with a section which questioned why the Karnataka government should set aside money for Maratha development. So much so, a state-wide bandh has been called by pro-Kannada organisations opposing this decision.
Since the formation of these two boards/corporations, there have been several representations made by many other communities in the state to the CM urging him to set up respective welfare boards.
Former Chief Minister and JD-S leader H. D. Kumaraswamy on Sunday called for a similar board/corporation for Vokkaligas, another politically dominant community like the Lingayats.
IANS report with edits