From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Mar 26: Congress leaders staged a dharna here on Sunday, March 26, against the hasty disqualification of former party president Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership on the basis of a lower court’s decision in a defamation case, which had been suspended for a month by the same court.
AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, Congress opposition leaders in the assembly and council Siddaramaiah and B K Hariprasad respectively as well as other party leaders took part in the dharna carrying placards.
Later, addressing a joint press conference at the party office, Siddaramaiah and KPCC president D K Shivakumar attacked the Basavaraj Bommai government’s unscientific and unjust reservation policy of cheating dominant Lingayats, Vokkaligas, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities with its unwise divide and rule quota gimmick.
"In the last 75 years, no Indian State has tinkered with the reservation policy three times in the 90 days. BJP wants to commit fraud on all castes and communiites as part of its strategy to win assembly elections, which will definitely backfire,’’ they said.
The Congress leaders alleged that the ruling BJP wants to divert public attention from its corruption and 40% commission taint by making all sections of people to agitate on the reservation policy. "This has proved that BJP is Betrayal Janata Party,’’ they said.
The Congress said the BJP government did not do anything on the reservation issue during the last four years when it was in power and slept on the Justice Nagamohan Das Commission report.
On December 26, 2022, the Bommai government claimed it took a historic decision of increasing the reservation for SCs from 15% to 17% and for STs from 3% to 7%, thereby increasing the total reservation tto 56% knowing fully well that it was in violation of the Supreme Court’s decision restricting reservation to 50%. The government did nothing to send the proposal to the Centre to include the reservation in the 9th Schedule by bringing a constitutional amendment if it was really serious.
Again on December 29, 2022, Bommai government tinkered with the quota and shifted Vokkaligas and other communities from 3A to a new group of 2C and shifted Lingayats and other communities from 3B to a new group of 2D. Both the decisions have been challenged in the High Court.
Now, on March 24, 2023, just ahead of the announcement of poll schedule and enforcing of election code of conduct, the Bommai regime has again tinkered with the quota policy and tried to instigate one community against others as the reservation for Muslims has been changed.
The Panchamasali Lingayat community had been demanding reservation of 15% but the government has given only a 2% increase and Vokkaligas who have been demanding 12% quota have been given only 2% increase. At the same, the Muslims who have been enjoying 4% reservation have been denied the benefit and shifted to the economically weaker sections category. This is a gross injustice to Muslims, they said.
The Congress leaders lashed out at the Bommai government for its short-sighted and unscientific decision on tinkering with the quota without conducting any study and even as the State Backward Classes Commission has merely submitted its interim report on December 22, 2022 knowing fully that no decision can be taken without getting the final report.
All castes and communities must get justice and reservation benefits on the basis of their socio-economic status and on the basis of scientific study, they said and all these snap decisions without any basis with an eye on elections will fail.