Monday, March 12, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Lingayat counter: SC-ST-OBC maths line up

Lingayat counter: SC-ST-OBC maths line up

March 11, 2012
Bengaluru/ Belgaum

Is the Bharatiya Janata Party preparing for life after former Chief
Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa? In an important exercise to cosy up to
major communities other than the Lingayat, which the Bharatiya Janata
Party strongman belongs to, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda met a
large group of seers from the maths of Backward Classes and Dalits on

The move is also to "insulate" itself from the tantrums of Mr
Yeddyurappa, like the latest one where he refused to be part of
campaigning for the Udupi-Chikmagalur Parliamentary by-election. The
leaders fear that such an eventuality would prove "too costly" for the

A delegation of 27 pontiffs, under the Confederation of State Dalit
and Backward Class Maths headed by Kaaginele Kanaka Gurupeetha Swamy
Niranjanandapuri, met Mr Sadananda Gowda and demanded an increase in
the grants for these maths in the next budget. Seers from Valmiki
Peetha, Uppar Peetha, Madar Chennaiah Peetha, Chaluvadi Peetha, Bhovi
Peetha and Maratha Peetha too were part of the delegation.

Municipal Administration Minister Balachandra Jarkiholi and State BJP
president K.S. Eshwarappa are at the forefront of the campaign to
gravitate these seers, and their supporters, towards the party. During
the meeting, the two leaders said the Rs 750 crore allocated for the
SC/STs and BCs in the last budget was too meagre and it should be
increased in the next budget.

They said these communities constitute a big portion of the state's
population. A highly-placed source in the ruling party told Deccan
Chronicle, "The party's proximity to the Lingayats over the last
three-and-a-half years was a cause of worry for both the state and
central party leaders. The party was increasingly getting associated
with Lingayats, alienating it from other major communities in the
state." The OBCs and SC/STs together constitute 50 per cent of the
state's electorate, while Lingayats form 16 per cent.

"This move doesn't mean that the party is dumping the Lingyats
completely, but it is a step in the right direction to strike a
balance with every major and microscopic community in the state," the
source explained.


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