The Karnataka Cabinet on Friday deferred the decision on recommending to the Centre inclusion of Veerashaiva-Lingayat community in the Union list of Other Backward Classes (OBC), apparently under pressure from the Centre as well as some Ministers.
Ahead of the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa announced that the decision on including the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community in the Central OBC list would be taken after discussions with the central leaders of the party.
“The decision on Veerashaiva-Lingayat will be taken after visiting Delhi. Today, we will not make a decision . Even my Cabinet colleagues expressed a similar view. This is an important decision that will need further discussion,” the Chief Minister told presspersons before the Cabinet met.
It is learnt that Union Home Minister Amit Shah told the Chief Minister that the proposal on recommending the OBC status for the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community needed discussions within the party before the Cabinet took a decision. Earlier, it was on the Cabinet agenda.
Briefing presspersons, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy said the State Cabinet had to formally recommend its decision on inclusion of the community to the National Commission for Backward Classes for inclusion in the OBC list.
Currently, the entire Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, politically dominant in the State, is included in the Karnataka OBC list under Category 3B with a 5% reservation based on income.
The State government had proposed to recommend inclusion of the entire community in the Central OBC list to get benefits in Central government jobs and educational institutions. Currently, only 16 sub-sects of Veerashaiva-Lingayats were considered in the Central list of the OBCs, “which is wrong,” the Minister said.