Panel seeks suggestions, dalit netas mum

Panel seeks suggestions, dalit netas mum

There are 36 Members of the Legislative Assembly and six Members of Parliament belonging to the Schedule Castes (SCs) in Karnataka. But strangely none of them has had the time to suggest ways to help improve the delivery of government benefits to their communities.

However, they do have complaints that benefits are not evenly shared among the Scheduled Caste groups. And this precisely is the reason why the Justice A J Sadashiva Commission of Inquiry had been constituted.

On December 8 last year, the Commission convened a meeting of legislators belonging to the Scheduled Caste to evince their views and suggestions on improving the system of delivering the various government benefits to the beneficiaries. But only three legislators -- P M Narendraswamy (Independent), Y Sampangi and G N Nanjundaswamy (both BJP) turned up for the meeting, and they did not even sit through the meeting or offer suggestions. This despite many MLAs and MLCs camping in Bangalore for the legislature session at the Vidhana Soudha.

The Commission has written to all the 28 parliamentarians soliciting their views. There are five Scheduled Caste members in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha. Mallikarjun Kharge, K H Muniyappa, Dhruv Narayan (all Congress), Ramesh Jigajinagi and Janardhana Swamy are Members of Parliament and K B Shanappa is a Rajya Sabha member (BJP). But none of them has bothered to express his views either orally or in writing to improve the condition of their communities.

The same is the case with vice chancellors and professors of universities. Barring one or two professors, no one has so far responded to the request by the Commission. In fact, the Commission has ended up receiving grievances from some officers alleging that they have not been getting promotions or transfers or postings of their choice.

The Commission has almost completed its task to identify the sub castes, races and tribes of the SC communities to whom the benefits of reservation are not percolating equitably, and to suggest measures to enable them to compete with other SC categories.

The Commission, headed by Justice A J Sadashiva, retired high court judge, was constituted in 2005. After getting an annual extension for six years, now it has almost completed its work. The government has so far sanctioned Rs 11 crore of the Rs 14 crore it had sought. The data compilation of 22 lakh households across the State has been completed. With assistance from Keonics, 95 per cent of the data have been uploaded to the computer. Analysis of the data and recommendations are yet to be done.

Report in April

Justice Sadashiva said the report would be submitted to the government by April this year. The Commission, which completed its term on December 31, has sought an extension till May to complete formalities. “This will be the first, authentic statewide survey of the SCs in the State. Each Scheduled Caste household identified was asked to answer a questionnaire containing 141 queries. What is intriguing is the very poor or almost zero response from educationalists, the Scheduled Caste welfare associations and elected representatives to our repeated requests to offer suggestions.”

“We value suggestions from people who have knowledge about the problems faced by the SC communities. Even IAS and IPS officers have not responded to our requests. Anyhow, we have completed the ground work. The survey among the Scheduled Caste households, government officers of all departments and public sector undertakings has been completed,” he said.

“I have visited all the districts to hold discussions with officers concerned. Suggestions from other states MPs and welfare organisations have also been sought. The report will be submitted in three months,” Justice Sadashiva added.

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