Amid communal tension, CM Bommai faces heat over reservation in K’taka

Along with communal unrest and tension in the state and cabinet expansion pangs, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai now has the challenge of handling the issue of assurance of reservation for Panchamasali Linagayat community under 2A category.

Panchamasali seer of Koodalasangama Mutt Basavajaya Mrutyunjaya Swamiji on Monday declared that the deadline given to the ruling BJP government is over and he would launch agitation from April 21. “We have been waiting for the assurances of the BJP government in Karnataka to be fulfilled for one-and-a-half years,” stated Mrutyunjaya swamiji.

“Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa promised to provide reservation by September, 2021. Believing in him, we took back the agitation. The promise was never fulfilled. In a changed political scenario, Basavaraj Bommai became the Chief Minister and he sought 3 months duration for providing the reservation. Unfortunately, there is no sign of progress regarding reservation to the Panchamasali Lingayat community,” he explained.

Again the deadline was given to CM Bommai till April 14. “Since, the demand is not fulfilled we are launching the agitation. We are hopeful that the government considers our plea during the agitation. If it fails, agitation will be launched state-wide in front of offices of the District Commissioners. The agitation will continue in five phases to put pressure on the government,” the seer stated.

The development is a setback to ruling BJP. The leaders have tried to dilute the movement by establishing another mutt for the Panchamasali sub-sect in the state. However, Mrutyunjaya swamiji who has the support of a good number of influential leaders of BJP in the state like Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, Arvind Bellad and others as well as in Congress party can dent the Lingayat vote bank of BJP. Panchamasali Sub-sect is dominant among Lingayat community.

CM Bommai, who is busy handling the situation in the state against the backdrop of unrest, will be in a fix over the issue. The reservation issue is like stirring a hornets’ nest in the present scenario. The leaders of backward classes have warned they won’t tolerate disturbance with the present reservation pattern. Kadu Golla and Kuruba community have also launched a massive agitation demanding reservation under Scheduled Tribe category, party sources explain.

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