BSY's master plan: Central OBC status for Lingayats?

Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa's master plan: Central OBC status for Veerashaiva-Lingayats?

Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa. Credit: PTI.

The B S Yediyurappa-led Cabinet is expected Friday to decide on bringing the dominant Veerashaiva-Lingayat community under the central list of other backward classes (OBC).

This is on the agenda for the Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on Friday morning, according to sources.

At present, Veerashaiva-Lingayats are considered backward class in Karnataka and come under Category 3B with a 5% reservation. Their inclusion as OBC in the Central list will mean 27% reservation in Central government services and Central educational institutions. Only some sub-castes of Veerashaiva-Lingayats come under the central OBC list at present. In fact, the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha has been pressing for this.

Bringing the community under the central OBC list will require a formal recommendation from the state government to the Centre.

This move could have political ramifications, especially for Yediyurappa amid buzz that he could be replaced. Yediyurappa, a Lingayat himself, will look to further consolidate his standing within the community that is estimated to form about 16% of the state's population.

Earlier this month, Yediyurappa ordered the establishment of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat Development Corporation and allocated Rs 500 crore for it.

On Thursday, Yediyurappa huddled with Lingayat ministers apparently to discuss an issue pertaining to reservation for the community.

After Friday's Cabinet meeting, Yediyurappa is slated to address a news conference where he is expected to make a major announcement.