Pressure has intensified on the government to take a call on the 2A reservation status to Lingayats. For, the community, led by Panchamasali Mutt seer Basava Jayamruthyunjaya Swami, has announced to launch a protest on January 14, if the government does not take a call on the issue by then.
Speaking to DH, the seer said, “Recently, a government delegation met us to hold talks in this regard. They assured that they would announce the reservation before January 14. If the government keeps its word and announces its decision before this deadline, we will felicitate Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and celebrate Sankranthi. Failing this, we will take out a padayatra to Bengaluru till the government meets our demand,” he said.
The community has sought to be included under the 2A category in the state list, while also seeking the Lingayats to be included under OBC in the Central list.
The community leaders have placed the onus on Mines and Geology Minister C C Patil, also from the community, to get the reservation sanctioned. Patil told DH that he would discuss the issue with the chief minister soon. “I will ensure that the two parties meet at the earliest,” he said.
Patil is the only minister from the Panchamasali sect in the Yediyurappa government.
Sources said the 2A reservation was unlikely to materialise before January 14, considering that the chief minister was occupied with the cabinet rejig.
The Panchamasalis constitute about 16% of the politically dominant Lingayat community. Leaders from the sub-sect have been for long demanding better political representation.
A year ago, Yediyurappa faced an embarrassing situation at an event in Haveri, when Panchamasali seer Vachanananda Swami had demanded that Yediyurappa induct more ministers from the community, if he wanted to complete his tenure as CM.
The seer had also demanded that Murugesh Nirani be inducted as a minister. The demand for 2A reservation is also seen as an attempt to mount pressure on Yediyurappa to provide more representation to Panchamasalis in his government.