Congress leader Siddaramaiah is all set to launch the ‘Ahinda’ (minorities, backwards and Dalits) movement across Karnataka ahead of local rural body elections, party sources said on Friday.
Congress sources said that Siddaramaiah will launch the movement to emerge as the leader of oppressed classes ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections.
Siddaramaiah, who met former ministers H.C. Mahadevappa and C.M. Ibrahim, who were in the forefront of the Ahinda movement earlier, on Friday demanded that the caste census of the state must be made public.
The socio-economic and education survey, known as the caste census, and begun in 2015, had run into controversy after some of the purported findings, suggesting Muslims were at second position in terms of population in Karnataka after lower classes, got leaked. Later, the Census Committee denied this.
In spite of the state government spending Rs 168 crore on the exercise, the report has never been made public or presented in the Assembly till date.
“The report was incomplete when I was in power. My successor H.D. Kumarasamy could have released it. B.S. Yediyurappa also did not bother to release it. I am for the release of the census report. If I have not released the census report, what is preventing the present government from presenting the census report in the Assembly,” Siddaramaiah asked.
“The census includes information of all categories of people. The communities need to know where they stand. The office bearers of the Most Backward Castes Awareness Forum have met me. I have advised them to move the court,” he added.
Party insiders claim that the caste census will put Scheduled Castes/Tribes and Other Backward Classes’ population to be higher than dominant Lingayat and Vokkaliga castes in Karnataka.
Siddaramaiah, already established as a leader of backward classes, wants to garner the support of these communities by launching the ‘Ahinda’ movement.
This is the plan for the 2023 Assembly elections of Siddaramaiah who is now being challenged by state party President D.K. Shivakumar. Siddaramaiah wants to emerge as the leader of masses to prove a point to the Congress high command to make him the Chief Ministerial candidate in 2023.