Belagavi: In a bid to meet the persistent demands of the two major communities, the State Cabinet yesterday decided to create two new OBC (Other Backward Castes) categories for Vokkaligas and Lingayats. The reservation demands of the two communities will be met by scooping out of a portion of 10 percent (Economically Weaker Sections) quota.
As per the new reservation announced, Vokkaligas who come under category 3A, will now be placed under new 2C category, while Veerashaiva-Lingayats, who were under Category 3B, will be now placed under the new 2D category. Following the creation of new categories, the existing categories 3A and 3B will be done away with. However, their reservation will continue as earlier— 4 percent for Vokkaligas under the new category 2C and 5 percent for Lingayats under the new category 2D.
The Panchamasali Lingayats, a dominant sub-sect of Veerashaiva Lingayat community, which had been demanding reservation for long and had also staged an indefinite stir headed by community seers, had set Dec. 29 deadline to the Government for announcing reservation.
At present, OBCs in Karnataka have 32 percent reservation across five categories— Category-1 (4 percent), Category- 2A (15 percent), Category-2B (4 percent), Category-3A (4 percent) and Category- 3B (5 percent).
The creation of the new categories was recommended by former Minister Jayaprakash Hegde headed Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes in its interim report submitted recently. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was under immense pressure by the numerically strong Panchamasali Lingayats who wanted to be moved from 3B to 2A for a higher reservation quota. Similarly, Vokkaligas wanted their quota to go up from the existing 4 percent to 12 percent.
Speaking to presspersons on the Cabinet decision, which has brought cheer to Vokkaligas and Lingayat communities, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy said the Cabinet accepted the recommendation of Jayaprakash Hegde headed Commission.
Maintaining that the Government has not touched any other reservation categories, Madhuswamy said both Vokkaligas and Lingayats wanted to be put under Category 2, which the Government has done now. Asserting that the 103rd amendment of the Constitution has allowed the Government to exceed 10 percentage points, the Minister pointed out that some quota of the EWS reservation will be saved, which will be shared between 2C and 2D.
The Backward Classes Commission will fix the allocation of 10 percent quota to EWS communities (Brahmins, Jains, Arya Vysyas, Nayars and Mudaliars) in proportion to their population, he added.