From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Mar 25: Congress opposition leader Siddaramaiah and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy have dubbed Basavaraj Bommai regime’s latest decisions on reservations to win over dominant Vokkaliga and Panchamasali Lingayats as ‘’nothing but political gimmicks aimed at fooling people and not honest efforts.’’
The decisions taken at Bommai-led BJP government’s probably the last Cabinet meeting before the announcement of elections to the State assembly on Friday have created more problems and confusion than solving the simmering discontent among different communities.
Siddaramaiah said the very fact that a large number of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes have condemned the government’s insincere efforts on increasing the reservation quota and the government has not taken anybody into confidence.
``Almost 6 months have elapsed since the Bommai cabinet had decided to increase the reservation quota of SC/STs and no concrete step has been taken so far. The State Government wrote to the Centre on March 23 requesting that the internal reservation must be increased, when the Lok Sabha session was concluding. This is nothing but a gimmick just a few days before the announcement of the assembly polls,’’ he said.
The Congress leader said if the ruling BJP and the Bommai government was really serious and interested in increasing the reservation quota, a decision should have been taken after discussing with leaders of all communities.
He pointed out that the Narendra Modi government had taken a decision on the reservation for Economically Weaker Sections in a matter of 4 days by passing a constitutional amendment and Bommai government should have ensured that its decision was pursued in the same manner instead of fooling the people with non-serious efforts to gain political mileage.
``If the government was genuinely interested, it could have shared the 10% reservation for EWS category with other backward class communities as the population was not sufficient for the 10% EWS benefit. The government decision has caused grave injustice to Category 1 and the backward classes in Category 2 as also Muslims in Category 2B. There are reports that these three categories have 48 to 50 % population and they will now have barely 19% reservation.
Siddaramaiah demanded that the reservation quota for Muslims under 2B must be continued undisturbed as the community needs the benefits and the reservation for SC/STs in proportion to their population must be guaranteed as mandated the Constitution by including it under Schedule 9. The creamy layer criteria in respect of education must be scrapped and all facilities for higher education including hostels must be provided on the basis of reservation. The government must ensure justice to all communities, especially those disadvantaged, he said.
Dividing people on basis of religion, castes is BJP strategy
JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy accused the ruling BJP of politicising everything and the Bommai regime’s decision on reservation is ‘’nothing but applying ghee on the forehead and flowers on the ears’’ to hoodwink the people.
There is nothing wrong in granting reservation or increasing the quota but denying the rights and benefits of one community to favour another is unjustifiable, he said attacking BJP of creating enmity between people of different castes and religions to win elections. People are not fools and they will see through the games and teach a lesson, he warned.
The JD(S) leader said the benefit of 4% reservation to Muslims was conferred by former Prime Minister H D Dee Gowda under Category 2B and now BJP has sought to club the community under EWS category. This is defeating the very purpose and objective of reservation, he said.