Row over issue of caste certificates

Senior BJP leader and MLC Mukhyamantri Chandru openly criticised the Government’s move and demanded that Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa should immediately withdraw it. Even BJP State President K S Eshwarappa opposed it saying “it is not proper if the Government is issuing the caste certificates as alleged.”

The Social Welfare department in a letter dated March 30, 2010, directed DCs of Haveri, Davanagere, Dharawad, Shimoga and Chikmagalur to issue 2A caste certificates to various sub-castes of Veerashiva Lingayats - the move that is expected to reap a rich benefit to the ruling party in the coming gram panchayat elections.

Chandru, who is also Kannada Development Authority chairman, said the Government’s move was detrimental to 102 castes, listed under the 2A category. Sub castes of Veerashaiva Lingayat were entitled for reservation of five per cent under 3B category.
Thousands of people belonging to sub-castes of Lingayat have obtained certificates under 2A category, which is allotted 15 per cent of reservation in admission to professional courses and recruitment to government jobs.

He said he would write to the Chief Minister, the BJP state president and the Social Welfare Department appealing them to withdraw the controversial order and take action against the guilty. He would also write to the State Election Commission to disqualify those Lingayats who have filed nomination papers by obtaining 2A category certificates.

While the Political Secretary to the CM B J Pauttaswamy defended the move, Yeddyurappa said he is not aware of any such direction.

“The Government has not issued any new order on this regard. The DCs had sought some clarifications on issuing the caste certificate under 2A and hence, the department has issued a clarification,” Puttaswamy stated.

As per the 2003 guidelines, the certificate can be issued only to Hindu Sadhus and not Lingayat Sadhus, he added.

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