After Lingayat event, major pro-caste census rally to be held in Karnataka city

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi on Friday stated that the Karnataka government does not have any authority to conduct caste census.

Bengaluru: After Lingayat convention, the oppressed classes and minorities have decided to hold a massive rally in Chitradurga city in Karnataka to counter the influential castes ‘pressurising’ the government not to accept the caste census report.

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Sources confirmed that Ahinda group of Alpsankhyak, Hindulida (backwards) and Dalit communities have decided to hold a massive rally on January 28 urging the Congress government to implement the caste census report in toto.

It has been decided to invite Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to the convention and also to ensure participation of all top leaders from minority communities, Scheduled Caste and Tribes and others. The convention will demand implementation of the caste census in toto and conducting of caste survey on social, educational and economic parameters by the central government.

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The convention will also demand cancellation of 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS); immediate implementation of the Women’s Reservation Bill; internal reservation in politics; increasing of reservation as per the proportion of the population and extension of reservation to the private sector.

The development comes following the showing of strength by Lingayat community at Davanagere convention in which it was appealed that caste census report should not be accepted. Vokkaligas have also warned the Congress government in Karnataka not to accept the caste census report.

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi on Friday stated that the Karnataka government does not have any authority to conduct caste census.

BJP MLA and former minister V. Sunil Kumar said that if Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is genuinely committed to ensuring social justice, he should hand over the caste census report to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a probe.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D. K. Shivakumar stated that he stands by the party’s line on caste census but the demand of various communities for a scientific approach to it must be considered. The statement had assumed importance against the backdrop of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah preparing to accept the controversial caste report.

The socio-economic survey, popularly known as the caste census, was conducted in Karnataka in 2015 by the Karnataka State Backward Classes Commission headed by H. Kantharaju. Though Siddaramaiah ordered the caste census, he had to bend before the leaders of the Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities of his party who insisted on not accepting the report.

Sources said the report stated that the SC and ST groups form the majority in the state, followed by Muslims.

The Lingayats, considered to be the majority population, were shown as the third largest group, while the Vokkaligas, believed to be in second position, were shown in the fourth position, sources said.

This triggered a huge controversy in the state as the Muslim community was shown as having the second-highest population in Karnataka.

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