Karnataka Chief Minister Yediyurapa gave his anticipated statement on the inclusion of Veerashaiva-Lingayat community under the Union OBC list and declared that the decision will be made after speaking with the national leaders in New Delhi.
The issue was scheduled to be discussed in the cabinet meeting on Friday morning, after which the CM said, "This is a very important issue and it needs to be discussed with national leaders."
He stated that he would be attending a meeting with the leaders in Delhi in three days' time.
Briefing reporters about the cabinet decisions, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said, as sub-castes under several other communities have been left out from the OBC list like- Kunchatigas from Vokkaligas, it was decided to consider sending a comprehensive recommendation to the Centre about the communities that need to be included in the days to come, and defer the subject today.
The Karnataka government has already formed a Lingayat-Veerashaiva Development Corporation for the community's upliftment. Further, they have appointed BS Paramashivaiah as Chairperson of the Corporation and allocated ₹500 crore to it,
The previous Congress government led by Siddaramaiah had made a move to accord "religious minority" status to Veerashaiva-Lingayats ahead of the 2018 assembly polls.
Veerashaiva-Lingayat community that owes allegiance to the 12th century "social reform movement" initiated by Basaveshwara has a substantial population in Karnataka, especially in the northern parts of the state.
Considered as BJP's core vote bank in Karnataka, the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, to which Yediyurappa also belongs, is estimated to form about 16 per cent of the state's population
The politically influential community is considered to have a significant presence in about 140 out of the total 224 assembly constituencies in the state, and are decisive in about 90 seats, according to political observers
(with inputs from PTI reported by Mafazah Sharafuddin)